POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Richard John Miller (known affectionately as G-Pops) passed away peacefully on January 14th, 2020. He sang, recited poetry, calculated complicated math equations, and shared epic stories until the very end.
He was born on November 15th, 1927 in Watertown, NY. He was predeceased by parents George and Kathryn Miller, brother George “Bud” and wife Mary Ann.
He married Mary Ann Scoones in 1952 and carried her memory fondly after she passed in 2006. He is survived by son Michael and his wife Kelly, son Peter and his wife Sharon, son Paul, daughter-in-law Natalie, and daughter Mary Kathryn and her partner Freddie; his grandchildren Melissa, Christy, Katie, Beth Ann, Megan (who cared for him later in life) and her spouse Brandon Michaud, Allison and her spouse Peter Lawrence, Taylor, and Brett and his partner Natasha; and great-grandchildren Henry, Helena, and Linley, as well as many nieces, nephews and in-laws. He had a special relationship with niece Kathleen and husband Kurt, as well as dear family friends Cindy and Amanda.
Although he denied his talents, Ric was a true Renaissance man. He was an avid athlete who practiced sailing, lacrosse, bowling, and handball; he dedicated his service to the military (which included a historic expedition to Antarctica under Admiral Byrd); donated over 100 pints of blood; was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 74, and the Firemens’ Chief Association of Northern New York. In the year 2000, he was honored as Fireman of the Year for his 36+ years of service and dedication to the West Potsdam Fire Department. He was awarded a distinguished teacher’s award from Clarkson University, from which he retired after 37 years. Additionally, he earned several degrees: a master’s in Math Education from Syracuse University, a master’s in Mathematics from University of Washington in Seattle, and a PhD in Engineering Science from Clarkson.
Ric deeply valued friends and family, and hosted routine gatherings at his residence for decades, until as recently as October 2019. All were welcome to stop by for a drink and conversation and – if you were really lucky – you were roped in for a project or two.
Over the years, Ric also enjoyed his many trips around the country with his wife Mary Ann and in-laws Ed and Nancy Crane. He enjoyed visiting his daughter Mary Kathryn in Florida, developing many special friendships on these voyages.
More recently, he enjoyed his time with his friends at the American Legion in Potsdam, where he and his family would visit regularly.
Ric’s many great accomplishments – and there were many – pale in comparison to his thoughtful wisdom, resilient spirit, goofy humor, and sharp intellect.
Friends may call at the Garner Funeral Home in Potsdam Friday January 17th 2020, from noon to 2pm, with services immediately following. There will be a celebration of Ric’s amazing life starting at 3pm at the American Legion Post 74.
Contributions in his memory can be made to the West Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department.
A very special thank you from his family and friends to the staff at Canton Potsdam Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their sensitivity and care during the final stage of his life.