Rev. Merrrill Cushing Miller, Jr., age 85 of Cary and Brevard, NC, departed this earthly life on Thursday, January 22, 2015.
A native of Raleigh NC he was the son of Merrill Cushing Miller and Hallie Winston Miller. He is survived by his beloved wife of 50 years, Dian Joyce Anderson Miller of Stamford, CT and three children Helen Winston Miller of Raleigh, Merrill Cushing “Chip” Miller, III (Gloria), of Cary, Kathryn Elizabeth Miller Whitehead of Raleigh, a brother Hal Macon Miller (Wilma) of Raleigh and five grandsons: Jack, Paul, Ethan and Lucas Miller; and Jon Whitehead.
As a youth Merrill enjoyed scouting advancing through perseverance to the rank of Eagle Scout. He attended Raleigh schools and graduated from The McCallie School, Chattanooga, TN and the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. At Sewanee he earned a Varsity Letter, was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, Alpha Psi Omega Dramatic Fraternity and was a volunteer fireman for the University. He enlisted in the US Air Force during the Korean War, was selected for Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.
A life-long Episcopalian, on discharge from the Air Force, he enrolled in The Divinity School of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia to study for Holy Orders. He was ordained a Deacon in his home parish, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Raleigh in June of 1956 by Bishop Edwin A. Penick and was ordained a priest in his first parish, St. Bartholomew’s, Pittsboro, NC, on January 5, 1957 by Bishop Richard H. Baker. In June of 1959 he began two years of advanced Clinical Pastoral training at The Institute of Religion, Texas Medical Center, Houston, TX with a dual enrollment for the academic part of the program at Perkins Seminary, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. Upon completion of his training he returned to NC where he served as rector of St. Mark’s Church, Mecklenburg County until the Diocese of NC established a full time professional chaplaincy program to Charlotte hospitals. During his years as Episcopal Chaplain he was active as a member of the Assembly of Episcopal Chaplains, a Fellow of the College of Chaplains of the Protestant Hospital Association, and The NC Chaplains Association. He served on the Board of Penick Retirement Home in Southern Pines. While in Charlotte in addition to hospital ministry he formed All Saints Church and served as vicar.
In March of 1976, he became rector of St. Philip’s Parish, Brevard, NC retiring in July 1996. He took an active part in the community as a member of the Boards of Health, Sharing House and the Ministerial Association. In addition to parish responsibilities he was active in the Diocese of Western NC. He helped bring into existence the Mission Church of the Holy Family in Mills River. He was Dean of the Hendersonville Convocation for several terms, a member of the Executive Council of the Diocese, a member of the Standing Committee and served for a term as its President, served as Secretary of the Diocese several times and was an Alternate Delegate to the 1982 General Convention in New Orleans.
He will continue to be loved and remembered by his family and friends for his steadfast love, joy and humor, his willingness to serve others in their need and for his many virtues. His honesty, decency, courtesy, integrity, kindness, humility and strong sense of discipleship to Jesus Christ served him and others well.
A graveside service is scheduled for 2:00 PM on Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the cemetery of St Paul’s in the Valley, Brevard, NC. The Rev. Rob Field of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church will officiate. A reception will follow in Miller Hall at St. Philip’s.
A memorial service is scheduled at Christ Church, 120 East Edenton St., Raleigh, on Saturday, January 31 for 2:00 PM, and will be conducted by the Rev. Jennifer C. Brown.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St Philip’s Episcopal Church in Brevard or to a charity of one’s own choosing.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, Saint Mary's St., Raleigh, NC.