Posted: Mon 11:17 AM, Nov 04, 2013
November 27, 1924 - October 16, 2013
Dr. Rod Miller, long time North Shore physician and resident, died peacefully in Hilo, HI on October 16th. He was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina and was almost 89 years old.
Dr. Miller grew up near the campus of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where his father was Professor and Head of the Horticulture Department. Dr. Miller frequently helped his father in the fields and developed a life-long love of plants and gardening. His brother, Dr. Creighton Miller, who followed in their dad's footsteps and also became a professor of horticulture, once said that between them, his brother was the real horticulturist.
While attending LSU in their pre-med program, he accepted a commission in the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lt. and served as an Artillery Forward Observer in the European Theater, including the battle of the Bulge, during WWII, where he received a battlefield promotion and the Bronze Star. He returned from the war and completed his medical degree at the LSU Medical Center in New Orleans. Upon graduation, he joined the Army Medical Corps as a regimental surgeon/jump doctor in the 82nd Airborne Division during the Korean conflict, and was honorably discharged in 1953. He met Ann, his wife of 62 years, during medical school and their first date was to attend an autopsy.
Following a residency in surgery at Brook Medical Center near Denver, CO, he became a partner in the North Fork Medical Clinic, in Paonia and Hotchkiss, where he practiced for seven years before moving to Oahu in 1961 to practice at the Waialua Sugar Company. After five years, he left the plantation and established his private practice in Haleiwa, where he worked until he retired to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in 1999.
Dr. Miller was an old-fashioned, country doctor for nearly 40 years and was one of the first board-certified Family Physicians in the state. He practiced the full gamut of family medicine including OB/GYN, general surgery (sewed many a surfing laceration), simple orthopedics, and geriatrics. He took care of people from birth to death and in some families cared for five generations. He made home visits if a patient was homebound or stopped coming in for their visits, and he always tried to make people feel better.
He never wanted to retire because he loved medicine, but was forced to due to health reasons. After he retired, he was honored as one of the North Shore Chamber's 2005 North Shore Kama'aina of the Year for his contributions toward the improvement of healthcare on the North Shore. He was also active in the community as a member of Haleiwa Main Street/North Shore Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of the Waialua Community Association, the Neighborhood Board, and the Wahiawa General Hospital. He volunteered for the Boy Scouts and as the high school football team physician. He was also a glider pilot and an avid surfer.
His wife, Ann, helped him throughout his career and made it possible for him to give so much time to his practice and the community while she took care of the family and home. He cherished the many friendships he developed through his practice, the special community of the North Shore, and the beautiful place in which to live.
He is survived by daughters, Antya Miller (Boyd Ready) of Haleiwa and Lisa Simmerman (Ralph) of Cheyenne, WY; grandchildren, Julian Miller-Ready of Haleiwa and Analiese, Scott, and Bruce Simmerman, all of Cheyenne, WY; brother Dr. Julian Creighton Miller, Jr. (Jeannie) of College Station, Texas; nephew Julian Creighton Miller, III of Seattle, WA; niece Jennifer Miller Cash (Joseph) of Allen, Texas; and brother-in-law Joseph Coyle (Pat) of Houston, Texas. He was preceded in death by wife Ann; and sons Scott and Rod Miller, Jr.
Memorial service is Thursday, November 14, 5 p.m. visitation, 6 p.m. services at Waialua United Church of Christ. Aloha attire. In lieu of flowers, donations suggested to Haleiwa Main Street dba North Shore Chamber of Commerce, 66-434 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712; Wahiawa General Hospital, 128 Lehua St Wahiawa, HI 96786; or Waialua United Church of Christ, 67-174 Farrington Hwy, Waialua, HI 96791.