KEITH E. MILLER, 87 of Bar Harbor, died June 27, 2012 at Birch Bay in Bar Harbor. Mr. Miller was the Superintendent of Acadia National Park from 1971 to 1978.
Born to John T. Miller and Wilda Sprowels Miller in Donegal Township, PA outside Pittsburgh on November 30, 1924, Keith lost his mother to TB in 1942. Upon his graduation from Monongahela High School in 1942, Keith joined the Merchant Marine (who would take 17-year-olds) and later transferred to the U.S. Navy. He served as a radioman during the Pacific campaign and visited Shanghai, China after the liberation.
After attending college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania on the G.I. Bill, he went west to do graduate work in geography and education at the University of Washington. There he met and fell in love with Carolyn Hutchins, and not coincidentally, the National Parks. Carolyn’s father was a naturalist and seasonal ranger at Yellowstone during the Depression. After they married they both taught middle school in Seattle, but in 1958 Keith gave up that for a permanent position as a ranger at Mount Rainier (and Carolyn for a barely winterized cabin on the mountain.) Keith served 36 challenging and happy years in the National Park Service. His postings ranged far and wide by location and responsibility. From Glacier National Park where he trapped bears and fought fires and Wind Cave Nat’l Park where he found an entrance to a large new arm of the cave now called Miller Low Life. His first position as superintendent was at Gran Quivira National Monument in New Mexico. He also served at Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, two years in Wash. D.C. as Acting Chief Ranger for the entire Park Service. Keith served as Superintendent of Acadia from 1971 to 1978, at which time the Millers fell in love with the island enough to purchase property for a retirement home. After six years at Superintendent of North Cascades Park Complex in Washington State, Keith ended his career as Associate Regional Director of the Southwest Region (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana). He was given the Meritorious Service Award for his supervision of the cleanup of toxic spills on Padre Island in Texas.
After their retirement to Bar Harbor, Keith and Carolyn traveled a great deal, and even lived for a time in Vienna, Austria in 1999-2000. Keith kept up his interest in the parks, working for Eastern Parks and Monuments Association and Friends of Acadia and also served on the board of Jessup Memorial Library.
Keith is survived by his wife Carolyn of Bar Harbor, daughter Kristin of New York, NY, grandson Keith of Washington DC, son Kem and wife Katerina and grandsons Aleksander and Adam of Chevy Chase, MD and his brother Thomas Miller of Tucson, Arizona. He is also survived by his beloved Austrian family in Vienna, Kerstin and Claudius Stracke and their children Dominik, Jakob, Clarissa and Iris.
A memorial service will be held 2:00 pm, Saturday, July 21, 2012 at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.
Contributions in his memory can be made to Friends of Acadia, PO Box 725, Bar Harbor or Bar Harbor Congregational Church, 29 Mt. Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
Arrangements by: Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mt. Desert.
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