A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Main and Oklahoma Church of Christ, McAlester, for Dr. James Marcus Miller, 81, McAlester, who died Friday, April 23, 2004, at Mercy Health Center, Oklahoma City. Richard Poe and Bob Young will officiate.
He was born March 15, 1923, in Bonham, Texas, to Jesse James and Jo Elizabeth (Morrison) Miller. He received a B.S. in business administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1946. He went on to receive a master's degree in business administration at Oklahoma State University and a doctorate in education at the University of Tulsa.
Colonel Miller was a World War II veteran who began his military career in December 1942 in the 19th Regimental Combat Team which was later attached to the 11th Airborne Division and the 503rd Paratrooper Regiment. These units were directly involved in the liberation of the Philippines and Miller was recognized as one of the most decorated noncommissioned officers in the 19th Regimental Combat Team. He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve Corps in 1978 after 32 years of service. His major commendations and citations include the Bronze Star with "V" for Valor and two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters awarded for additional acts of bravery, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Unit Citation, Asiatic-Pacific Bronze Arrowhead and four Bronze Battle Studs, two Bronze Stars for the liberation of northern and southern Philippines, and the Oklahoma Distinguished Service Medal. He was also selected to serve as moderator at the National War College, Washington, D.C., and assisted the director in evaluating the curriculum. He served as liaison officer to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., from 1973-1978.
Dr. Miller served Oklahoma higher education 36 years, 16 as president of Eastern Oklahoma State College at Wilburton. He retired from that institution in 1986. In addition, he was the founding president of Seward County Community Junior College in Liberal, Kan. He was the 14th president of Eastern State and under his leadership, its enrollment more than doubled with the addition of 14 academic programs.
He had a lifelong concern for students which can be traced to his role as dean of men and associate dean of students at OSU and culminating in his role as a member of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges Educations Evaluation Committee. This committee evaluated college education in Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
He was also selected as a member of Stanford University Institute for College Presidents. In 2002. he was inducted in the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was honored as an SOSU distinguished alumni.
His civic involvement included the Lion's Club, Wilburton Chamber of Commerce, Latimer County Industrial Authority, American Legion, State Civil Defense, YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, American Society of Military Engineers and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
His first love was Christ. He served as an elder in the Church of Christ for more than 30 years. Throughout his life, his spare moments were spent in service to the Lord. He was the resource behind college outreach efforts on at least three campuses. His Christianity and love for his fellow man can be seen through his endeavors and the accomplishments of his life.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Emma Jane ( Watts ) Miller, of the home ; sons James Louis Miller, Oklahoma City, Johnny Marcus Miller and wife Carolyn (Prock), Claremore; daughter Jayna Beth Miller and husband Clement Santine, McAlester; six grandchildren, one great-grandchild and sister Mary Jo Samuel, Tulsa.
The family requests memorials be made to the Dr. James M. Miller Scholarship at EOSC, Wilburton, or the University Church of Christ Bible Chairs at OSU, Stillwater, or EOSC.
Bishop Funeral Service and Crematory, McAlester, is handling arrangements.
Durant Daily Democrat (OK) - Date: April 28, 2004
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