Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Larry Miller

It was a blow to get the e-mail yesterday telling that Larry Miller had suffered a massive, probably fatal stroke on Sunday, and again to learn that he had died earlier today.

I know Larry through serving with him on the Friends Journal board for he past four years. Larry had first joined the board of the Friends Publishing Corporation in 1955 shortly after The Friend and The Friends Intelligencer, the publications of the Orthodox and Hicksite traditions respectively, merged, contemporaneously with the reunification of the two Philadelphia Yearly Meetings and has served several stints over the next fifty years. He also frequently had articles and letters published in the Journal.

I loved Larry, as did everyone on the board. He had a youthful, almost child-like energy and spirit that belied his age. My picture of him is with his head cocked slightly (favoring a good ear, perhaps), stooping a bit to look me in the eye and listening intently, with genuine interest, to whatever answer I was giving to his question. He was the one who could be counted on always to ask the most pertinent (and occasionally impertinent) question during the publisher's report, and often to give words of praise or encouragement.

Every time I saw Larry, he delighted in telling me about his latest project, often involving historical research and writing. He also was one of the funniest persons I've ever known, in part because he was able and willing to laugh at his own foibles. I am grateful to have gotten to know him even a little bit, and that he lived a life so full of love and vitality.

Here is Larry's brief biography from the Friends Journal web site.

Larry Miller, a convinced Friend, lives in New Britain, Pa., with his wife, Carol. A graduate of Antioch College and Chicago Theological Seminary, he was a conscientious objector in civilian public service camps during World War II. He served as the general secretary of Friends General Conference for 17 years. In later years, he served the American Friends Service Committee in India, on the Middle East and Asia desks, and as chairperson of the Quaker United Nations Program. He chaired the Christian and Interfaith Relations Committee of FGC and was the only FGC delegate to the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya. He has published a biography of Clarence E. Pickett, Witness for Humanity.


MartinK said...

Hi Paul,
Thanks for posting this, I hadn't heard the news. I knew Larry mostly as "Ken's dad" and he always seemed very outgoing when he dropped by the FGC bookstore on his way to or from the Friends Journal meetings. It's hard to imagine someone today ending up such a wide-ranging list of accomplishments as Larry, but maybe that's always the case.

Anonymous said...

Hi - this is a friend of Carol and her son Doug's - please tell me - if anyone knows - where Larry's memoril service is being held Saturday, July 21. My email is gailghsi@yahoo.com. thank you.

Anonymous said...

Memorial Meeting for Worship
for Larry Miller

Saturday, 21 July 2007
Wright Meetinghouse
Chandler Hall
99 Barclay Street
Newtown, PA 18940

Join Larry’s family and friends as we celebrate the life
of our much loved father, husband, friend, long-time Quaker
and devoted peace activist.

To extend home hospitality to out-of-town visitors
or to request information on lodging,
contact Renate Frey 215.345.6242
or Bonnie Saunders (beginning 10 July) 215.345.0758
(Area hotel accommodations are being held until 9 July.)
Contributions in Larry’s memory may be made to
Doylestown Friends Meeting.

To reach Larry’s family locally:
Carol Miller 215.345.1714
Ken & Gretchen Miller 215.343.7839

Directions to Chandler Hall:
Exit the Newtown Bypass at Route 532,
going north toward downtown on South Sycamore Street.
The first intersection is Barclay Street.
Details at www.chandlerhall.org, Google Maps or Mapquest.

For those unfamiliar with Friends’ practice:
A memorial meeting is an opportunity to worship together in silence,
reflecting on the loved one who has died.
The quiet is broken by thoughtful messages from
any individuals who are moved to stand and share.
We respectfully wait a minute or more between messages.
A designated Friend determines when worship is complete
and closes meeting with a handshake,
after which we greet each other and proceed to a simple reception.