Longtime civic, governmental and community leader Harry A. Miller Jr., 88, of Brownwood, died Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, with his wife of almost 65 years, Nancy, at his side.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016, at Union Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Doug House, pastor, officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Heartland Funeral Home. A reception will follow the service.
Harry A. Miller Jr. was born March 9, 1928, in Fort Worth, and he and Nancy Biles were married on Dec. 1, 1951. A graduate of Howard Payne University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, he served in the U.S. Air Force Security Service in Bremerhaven, Germany, and the National Security Agency in Washington, D.C., from 1951 to 1955.
His career in local government spanned 40 years and included positions as City Secretary/Finance Director/Assistant City Manager in Brownwood from 1962 to 1967, City Manager of Fort Stockton from 1967 to 1968, City Manager of Brownwood from 1968 to 1978, and General Manager of the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1 from 1978 to 2002. Before beginning his career in local government administration, he was self-employed in the leathergoods business in Brownwood from 1955 to 1962.
As General Manager of the Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1, Harry implemented for the board the construction of a new water delivery system from Lake Brownwood to the treatment plant, the raising of the Lake Brownwood Dam 20 feet to contain the probable maximum flood, the construction of a new 10 million-gallon-a-day water treatment plant, the construction of two one-million gallon baffled water storage tanks, and the construction of a 42-inch pipeline crossing the Pecan Bayou. The District office building located at 501 E. Baker Street was named the Miller Administration Building in his honor upon his retirement.
Active in community and civic programs, Harry worked with most of Brownwood’s youth groups, numerous local charities, and as an officer in multiple organizations. Among them was the “Brownwood Mafia,” an unofficial group of community business people and supporters that promoted the city and awarded membership certificates to prominent visitors.
He chaired the committee that proposed uses for Brownwood’s Depot Civic and Cultural Center, was a co-founder of the Community Cultural Affairs Commission (now the Arts Council of Brownwood), and served on the founding boards of Central Texas MHMR, the Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key Program, and the Pecan Valley Economic Development District. His service also included membership on boards of Little League, Teenage Baseball, Heart of Texas Girl Scouts, West Texas Chamber of Commerce Water Committee, and Brownwood Civic Improvement Foundation.
He was named Brownwood’s Man of the Year in 1982.
His specific areas of service to the community have included vice president of the Brownwood Jaycees, vice president of the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce, president of the 39 Club, president of the Brownwood Rotary Club, president of the Presbyterian Men’s Association, president of the Brownwood Industrial Foundation, president of the Community Cultural Affairs Commission, president of the Brown County Industrial Development Corp., chairman of the Pecan Valley Art Festival, and elder at Union Presbyterian Church where he and Nancy have been members throughout their lives here.
He was a member of International City Managers Association, Texas City Managers Association, Texas Municipal Finance Officers Association, Texas Association of City Clerks and Secretaries, American Water Works Association, and Texas Water Conservation Association.
Survivors include his wife, Nancy Biles Miller; a sister, Kay Miller Dodds; a son, Randall Miller and his wife Suetta; a daughter, Laurie Miller Qunell; son-in-law Michael Qunell; grandson Chris Miller and his wife Cassie; grandson, Jason Qunell and his wife Kerri; granddaughter Lindsey Bell and her husband Michael; granddaughter Catherine Qunell; granddaughter Caitlin Day and her husband Cody; grandson Austin Miller; great-granddaughters Kelsey Miller, Kayla Miller, Avery Qunell, and Coulter Day; great-grandson Major Bell; five nieces; and three nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry A. Miller Sr. and Lois Callaway Miller; and his brother, Jack A. Miller.
The family recommends the Pearl Griffin Memorial Latch Key Program or Union Presbyterian Church to those who prefer to make donations in lieu of flowers.