Walt Miller

Walt Miller was born March 29, 1928 in Irvington, New Jersey. With a nod to his maternal heritage, his parents Walter Julius Miller and Doris Sears Miller named him Walter Davis Miller, but we knew him as just Walt, and Dad. Walt died peacefully in his sleep at home in Fort Bragg, CA, in the early morning hours of July 17, 2015 after a long illness.

Walt grew up in Union, New Jersey just down the street from the love of his life, Del Vanderbeck. They met when he was 11 years old. He graduated from Pingry Prep School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, then went on to study figure, portrait and plein air painting at the Academy of Arts, New Jersey; Pratt Institute, New York; and the Art Students League, New York City. Walt then began his career as a fine artist, before switching to commercial art, magazine cover and story illustration. He did numerous cover and inside illustrations for the "Pulp Magazines" such as Astounding Science Fiction.

Walt served in the Korean War from 1950-1952 on the island of Okinawa, producing manuals and training aids for the troops.

Walt and Del married on May 15, 1954 and quickly headed west to the Golden State. They settled in Santa Barbara, where Walt worked at Sloan Technology as V.P. of Advertising and Marketing and also at Larson- Bateman Advertising. While at Larson-Bateman, Walt's work included the Prop. 1 campaign (the forerunner of Prop. 13.) He also was involved with Gov. Ronald Reagan's gubernatorial campaign. In his spare time, he enjoyed sailing, fly fishing, camping and gardening.

In 1980 Walt and Del moved to Lake Tahoe, where Walt returned full circle to portrait and landscape painting. Missing the ocean, they moved to Fort Bragg in 1991, where Walt continued to study, both taking and teaching portrait classes at the Mendocino Art Center.

Walt will be forever missed by his wife of 61 years, Del, and sons Christopher Miller and his wife Betsy of Manitou Springs, CO, and Jonathan Miller and his wife Karen of Grass Valley, CA.

There will be no services at his request and donations would be appreciated to Canine Companions, 2965 Dutton Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95407; Mendocino Coast Home Health, 700 River Dr., Fort Bragg, CA 95437; or Fort Bragg Food Bank, P.O. Box 70, Fort Bragg, CA 95437.



Published in The Santa Barbara News-Press Online Edition from July 31 to Aug. 4, 2015