William "Bill" Russell Miller
On December 26, 2013 former Akronite and Shaker Heights resident, William "Bill" Russell Miller, departed from this life in Cocoa Beach, Fla. after a lengthy illness.
Born in Albany, Ky. on April 6, 1922 to Flossie O'Della (nee Sprouls) and John A. "Dude" Miller, Bill was preceded in death by both of his parents and by brothers, Johnnie Miller, Lyle Miller, Richard Miller, and by sister, Mary Elizabeth Williams.
Bill graduated from Dunbar High School in Somerset, Ky., following which he served his country in World War II in the South Pacific as a Technical Sergeant with the U.S. Army. Going to college on the G.I. Bill, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and received his Masters of Science degree from The University of Akron. Bill was a proud lifetime member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., of Beta Rho chapter of the Sigma Pi Phi Boule, and achieved the highest level of masonry, the 33rd degree, through affiliation with Prince Hall, Northern Jurisdiction, USA Inc.
Beginning at the Goodyear Atomic Energy Plant in Piketon, Bill climbed the corporate ladder to become Vice-President, the first African-American officer of a major rubber company. He retired in 1987 but remained active in various business ventures and consultancies. Bill served on more than 19 boards, six of which he chaired, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, FAMU College of Business Advisory Board, Alpha Homes, Inc., Akron City Hospital, Green Cross Hospital, Huntington Bank, Akron Roundtable, Summit Country Children Services, and many others.
Bill is survived by his devoted wife of 18 years, Edith. Bill leaves to mourn, children, Richard V. Ross, Anita Rankin (William), Rosanne Miller-Cleveland, and Shana Miller. He is survived by sisters, Imogene Moffett and Sally Mae McDougal (Robert); grandchildren, Stefani Fullum, Anthony (Shelli) Fullum, Royce Cleveland, and Amanda Cleveland. Bill was a loving great-grandfather to Castor and Dakota Cleveland. He served as mentor and wise "Uncle Russell" to Richard Michael Miller, Frieda Thomas, Dianne Andrews, Vicky Crosby, John Albert Miller II, Arthur Wayne Patrick, Debra Parmer, Patricia Miller, David Miller, Mya McClain, Dionne Miller-Fitch, and to all of their children. He also leaves to mourn his sister-in-law, Ila Miller.
An hour of visitation will commence on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home, 529 W. Thornton Street, Akron, OH 44307, with a homegoing service immediately following in the Stewart Calhoun chapel beginning at 9:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the William R. and Edith Pitt-Stamps Miller Endowment Fund (777450), c/o Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209.
Published by Akron Beacon Journal from Dec. 27, 2013 to Jan. 3, 2014.