Philip W. Miller, 70, died in a tragic hiking accident while on vacation with his wife in Door County, Wisconsin on September 23rd, 2018.
Phil was born February 5th, 1948, in Elkhart, to William and Ruth Miller.
On May 1st, 1993, in Elkhart, he married Vickie Ogle. Vickie survives along with two children, Daniela (Preston) Martin of Elkhart and Diana (Joel) Marmolejos of Elkhart; three grandsons; and his mother-in-law, Cyrilla Ogle. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Cheryl Rider.
Phil was the owner of Global Recruiters Network-Elkhart. Prior to that he worked in the RV Industry in Sales and Marketing for many years and was a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association. Earlier in his career, he was President of the family owned Miller Theatres and built the Encore Park Theatre in Elkhart.
Phil was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Elkhart. He loved worshiping God through music by singing in the choir as well as the Trinity Men’s Quartet. He was also very active in the City of Elkhart, including the founding Chairman of the Elkhart Jazz Festival. He was also a member of The Lerner Theatre Board of Directors and Elkhart Festivals Inc., and was the Chairman of the Parade Committee for the Elkhart Sesquicentennial.
Phil’s passion was flying. He graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1971 and served as a Captain in the Air Force as a fighter pilot in the A-7D and instructor pilot in the F-5 and AT-38B jets. He rewrote the Fighter Lead-In Training Syllabus used by the Royal Saudi Air Force to transition its pilot training graduates into fighter aircraft. He later served as Flight Operations Support Branch Manager for McDonnell Douglas Saudi Arabia providing training for F-15 pilots in the Royal Saudi Air Force’s 13th Fighter Squadron based in Dhahran.
He was affiliated with the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Subsequent to his service in the Air Force Academy, he earned his MBA from the University of Northern Colorado. In his youth, Phil was active in the Boy Scouts and achieved Eagle Scout status.
Phil was devoted to his family and especially his wife of 25 years. He cherished his twin daughters and loved being “Grampy” to his young grandsons who adored him. He maintained many friendships from coast to coast and never met a stranger. His outgoing, enthusiastic, happy personality was a joy to those who knew him. We are all devastated by his unexpected passing, and he will be greatly and forever missed.
Visitation for family and friends will be from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28th, at Trinity United Methodist Church on Jackson Blvd. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29th, at Trinity United Methodist Church with visitation at 10 a.m. prior to the service. A reception will be held at the church after the service. Burial will follow at Rice Cemetery with military honors by the U.S. Air Force and D.A.V. #19.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the Trinity United Methodist Children and Music Ministries or the EAA Young Eagles Program dedicated to the mission of inspiring kids in the world of aviation (Checks payable to: EAA, PO Box 3816, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3816). Online condolences may be shared at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com.
Trinity United Methodist Church Children and Music Ministries
2715 E. Jackson Blvd., Elkhart IN 46516
EAA Young Eagles Program
P.O. Box 3816, Oshkosh WI 54903