Don Robert Miller, M.D. died quietly in the company of his family on July 15 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
Don R. Miller was born on July 6, 1925 in Highland, KS to Pleasant V. Miller and Lucyanna Hammond Miller, and grew up in Kansas City, KS, where he graduated with honors from Wyandotte High School. He was an Eagle Scout. As a pre-medical student in the V12 program, he graduated from Westminster College, Fulton, MO and received his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1948. After an internship at the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospital in Chicago, he began general practice in Kansas City, KS. Dr. Miller served in the United States Navy as a surgeon with a Marine MASH Unit during the Korean War. After serving his country, he returned to Kansas where he entered the residency program in surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He began a lifelong academic career, becoming a Professor of Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Miller and family spent a sabbatical year in Zurich, Switzerland participating in research with renowned Swedish physician, Dr. Ake Senning. In 1973 he left the University of Kansas to become Director of Surgical Services at the Orange County Medical Center and Professor of Surgery for the University of California-Irvine. He served as consultant to the Veterans Administration Hospital and US Naval Hospital, Long Beach, California. Upon retirement from University of California-Irvine, he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Surgery. His long list of professional achievements includes election to Honor Medical Society Alpha Omega Alpha, President of the Southern California Chapter American College of Surgeons, Governor at Large of the American College of Surgeons, and President of the University of Kansas Medical Center Alumni Association. Dr. Miller authored numerous articles in professional journals and served at the forefront of research, education and practice in the field of general and thoracic surgery for nearly five decades.
Dr. Miller was proud of his Kansas roots, and enjoyed farming interests with brother, Plez Miller, in Doniphan County, Kansas. He was an accomplished woodworker, building furniture and boats, and sailed at Quivira Lake in Kansas City. He loved the Pacific Ocean coastline, the Corona del Mar Community Garden, and camping with family throughout the Western States. Don was a humble man, intelligent, independent, kind and quiet, who devoted his life to helping others, his family, and the church. He held principles, integrity and honesty in the highest regard.
Don Miller is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Geraldine Ellen Miller of Lawrence, KS; and their children Don R. Miller Jr. of Philadelphia, PA (Susan Thompson), Laurie Van Auken of Prairie Village, KS (Richard Van Auken), Todd Nelson Miller of Atchison, KS (Faye Miller), Marcie Miller Gross of Kansas City, MO (Bryan Gross), Kristen Ellen Miller of Portland, OR (Heinz Popiela), and Felicia Schober of Nixa, MO (Mark Schober); grandchildren Peter, David, and Steven Van Auken, Wesley and Lucyanna Gross, Harrison, Eden, and Ella Schober, and Ellen Miller, Margaret White and Harry Trotter.
The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff of Pioneer Ridge, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Douglas County VNA Hospice for their thorough and thoughtful care. We extend special thanks to Dr. Donald Hatton.
He will lie in state on Sunday July 18 from 4-9 p.m. at Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th St. Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-843-1120
Funeral services will be held Monday, July 19 at 11am, Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont, Lawrence, KS followed by burial at Iola Cemetery, Sparks, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Trinity Episcopal Church of Lawrence or KUEndowment-KU Medical Center and may be sent in care of the mortuary.