LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – Lt. Col. Donald W. Miller, 78, of Lawrenceville, Ga., passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, at Gwinnett Medical Center after a long illness.
He was born May 9, 1936, in Warren, the son of Delmar and Ruth Miller of Howland.
Lt. Don Miller had a distinguished military career of 22 years which began in 1959. His career began at Fort Hood, Texas, as a motor officer. He later followed with tours throughout the United States, where he became a paratrooper for the 101st Airborne Division.
He was stationed in Vietnam for two tours of duty with the 101st Airborne Division, where he earned a Bronze Star with the 101st Air Cavalry Division.
He later received a Joint Service Commendation Medal from Forscom as a Combat Development Officer, while stationed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. He received the prestigious honor of serving with the Old Guard, the military group protecting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and serving the White House. He maintained a close association with The Old Guard Military Association.
He attended the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he received his Master Degree in military science. His military career provided tours in Germany for the family and unaccompanied tours back to Germany. He served at Forces Command at Fort McPherson and later at Fort Gilliam, Ga. Lt. Col. Miller received several commendation medals as a contract officer. He was so proud to serve his country and followed the belief of God, country, family.
After retiring, Col. Miller went to work for Control Data Corp., where he was the computer operations manager for Control Data Corp. assigned to military contracting.
Col. Miller coached Little League football for his sons throughout their childhood. He never missed one sporting event during the time his children played ball or became state wrestling champions. As a grandfather, he helped coach Little League football for his grandsons and again never missed a sporting event whether it was at the Air Force Academy in Colorado or the Naval Academy in Maryland. His pride in his children and grandchildren set the tone for his retirement years. He continually traveled to be the “best Cheerleader” and sideline coach for his grandchildren.
Col. Miller spent many wonderful years at the family home in Palm Coast, Fla., and at his home on Lake Hartwell, Ga., fishing, boating and enjoying precious family time. His love of family was the greatest gift of his life.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara J. Miller, to whom he was married for 55 years; his children, Douglas Miller, Dr. Kimberly Ann Miller and Dr. Jeff Miller; and his grandchildren, Capt. Sean Miller, Brenna Miller, Jordan Miller, Reagan Miller Mirolli and Claire Miller Mirolli. His sister, Joan Seitz, resides in Cortland. He leaves many nieces and nephews in Ohio, Illinois, Florida and North Carolina.
Col. and Mrs. Miller attended Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Flowery Branch, Ga. His longtime family friend, retired army chaplain the Rev. Charles Binder of Louisville, will help officiate the funeral Mass at Prince of Peace Catholic Church as the family celebrates the life of Lt. Col. Miller.
Visiting hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at Flanigan Funeral Home in Buford, Ga. The funeral will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Flowery Branch, Ga., at noon Tuesday. A lunch reception will follow in the church hall.
The burial will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the National Cemetery in Canton, Ga.
To express condolences, sign the online guest book at www.flaniganfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are handled by Junior E. Flanigan of Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Buford, GA 770-932-1133.