Rufus Wilder Miller, Jr.
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AGE: 62 • Wilmington
Rufus Wilder Miller Jr., 62, died peacefully at home on Friday following a long illness. Born in Philadelphia he was the son of Rufus W. and Marjorie Knapp Miller.
He graduated from Council Rock High School, Newtown, PA., and earned an economics degree from Brown University in Providence, RI., in 1974. After receiving a masters degree with high honors in business administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI., in 1980, he joined the printing and paper company Westvaco where he worked for 19 years, becoming a business development manager in the company's consumer packaging business.
After leaving Westvaco, he became executive director of camp and conference centers for the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, and served as diocese property manager and secretary for its convention until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure with the Episcopal Church of Delaware, Rufus was responsible for the renovation and restoration of the church's bayfront Camp Arrowhead in Lewes and Memorial House, the historic beach home of A. Felix duPont in Rehoboth Beach. He also managed the Oberod Conference Center, a 400-acre Centreville estate bequeathed to the diocese by the late Jane duPont Lunger.
During his career with the Episcopal Church, he was chairman of the church's national association, the Episcopal Camp and Conference Centers.
In addition, Rufus served on the board of the First State Loan Fund, a non-profit community development financial organization that offers loans to small businesses, community organizations and affordable housing developers in Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania.
He also served for many years on the Parish Life Committee of Christ Church Christiana Hundred, where he was an active and integral part of the church community, accompanying parish youth on international pilgrimages, helping build a community center in Jalonga, a Dominican sugar cane village, organizing the construction of a new church parish hall in 2000 and working on the annual Green Show, which benefits local non-profit organizations. Devoted to the fellowship of the parish family, he was the driving force behind the church's popular and collegial First Friday Potluck Supper for many years.
An enthusiastic and gracious social events organizer and devoted father of three daughters, Rufus served for many years on the board of Snuff Mill Pool in Centreville, including a tenure as board president, and participated in the Ursuline Academy Parent Liaison Committee. He was also active in the Delaware Avenue Community Association.
Rufus was a passionate sports fan from an early age and closely followed the Philadelphia Phillies most of his life. He arranged road trips to the Palestra to attend Quakers basketball games in high school and was the organizer for intramural basketball while at Brown. He rarely missed a basketball game at his daughters' alma mater, Ursuline Academy, and coached soccer at the YMCA.
Rufus is survived by Rosanne, his wife of 33 years, daughters Stephanie, Kelsey and Marjorie "Margee", all of Wilmington, and sisters Judy Paquin and Beth Miller, of New Bern, NC.
Services will be 11 am Wednesday at Christ Church Christiana Hundred, 505 E. Buck Road, Greenville, with a reception immediately following in the church parish hall. Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Camp Arrowhead, P.O. Box 625, Lewes, DE 19958.
For Online Condolences
Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
Published in The News Journal from June 1 to June 3, 2014