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Michael Miller

1993 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
July 8, 1993 ~ Jan 5, 2018
We lost our son Michael to suicide on the evening of Friday, Jan 5. He died at home quietly, peacefully. Michael was a wonderful person with a heart of gold. Although he struggled with ADHD and was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, he seemed to be doing well with treatment. Since his death, we have come to understand the depth of his illness and depression, and the great difficulty he was having. We realize now how much courage and strength it took for him to have persevered as long as he did with the challenges he faced.
Although deep in grief, we are remembering the vibrant person that Michael was, with his huge smile, spontaneity and outgoing personality. He had an incredible ear for music. From an early age, he expressed himself on a succession of instruments: accordion, piano, clarinet, bass clarinet, cello, Bulgarian flute and a variety of drums. In 5th grade he played cello in the Salt Lake School District All-City Orchestra; in 7th grade it was clarinet in the all-city band, both first chair. In the 8th grade, during a school concert intermission, he spontaneously volunteered to entertain the audience with a piano performance of Chopin's Waltz in B Minor. He danced and played music with the Zivio Ethnic Arts Ensemble from ages 13 to 18.
One of our fondest recent memories is Michael playing keyboard and singing a love song for his sister Elli and her husband Sam at their wedding. Michael loved his sister and their relationship was growing into a deep bond.
Michael had interests as varied as flint-knapping, soccer, exploring nature, animals (especially pitbulls, which he felt were unfairly maligned), wood-working and metal-smithing. He loved to cook and he loved to eat, especially barbecue and Indian food. He appreciated traveling with family and on school trips throughout the lower-48 and Alaska, as well as Canada, France, Ireland, Greece and Italy.
Michael was bright and had a broad knowledge of the world, although the strictures of school were challenging for him. He was sensitive, compassionate and a good friend. He loved hanging out at the Sunset Café in Sandy, where he went to escape and where he felt truly happy.
Michael leaves behind his parents Rick and Sarah; his sister and brother-in-law Elli and Sam Arriola; grandparents John and Florence Wilson; an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins; his girlfriend Sarah Binkerd; and long-time friends Mark Hibler, Chris Roberts, Bryce Johnson and Nate Johnson.
A service is being planned for family and close friends. If you'd like to honor Michael's memory, please consider a donation to a suicide prevention or mental health support organization.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2018
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