Ketchikan AK Funeral Homes

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Ketchikan Mortuary

525 Deermount Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901
(907) 225-4550
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Ketchikan News

'One of Alaska's giants': Former legislator leaves legacy of integrity, love for Alaska after death - Juneau Empire (subscription)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Miller and his wife Marilyn — who survives him — moved away from Wichita, Kansas, in 1954, looking to travel the world. As Miller often joked, they made it as far as Ketchikan before their money ran out. The Millers ended up staying, and Miller ended up being an important figure in the politics and culture of Southeast Alaska for decades to come.A travel writer by trade, Miller began his time in Alaska writing books and articles about traveling in the region before eventually becoming the publicity director at the Alaska Travel Division.In 1971, he was elected as a representative and continued his legislative career until he retired in 1986. During that time, Miller showed a valuable ability to unite others in the Legislature and elsewhere to make a difference in the Southeast Alaska community. Former Alaska attorney general and Juneau mayor Bruce Botelho remembers Miller prioritizing environmental causes and promoting a transparent government.Among Miller’s largest triumphs included aiding with preserving the Mendenhall wetlands and helping keep the capital in Juneau in the mid-1970s when one of the most serious pushes to move the capital occurred. He also commonly hosted young Democratic legislators at his home during sessions, hosting them in good times and bad, Botelho recalled.John Pugh, the former chancellor at University of Alaska Southeast, met Miller in the late 1970s and was immediately struck by how well Miller understood how to create political change. Miller found common ground everywhere, from getting a drink with fellow legislators at the Baranof Hotel to even organizing a bible study for legislators. The mix of personalities in that bible study class stood out to Pugh.“There was the governor there, there were Republicans, there were Democrats like myself and Mike,” Pugh remembered. “He always h