James “Jim” Harrison Miller, Sr., 90, of Beaufort, NC passed away on 30 May 2020 surrounded by his cherished family and friends at home. He was preceded in death by the love of his life for almost 70 years, his wife, Susan Miller and by his parents, Glenn and Nevada Miller.
A memorial service for James Harrison Miller, Sr. will be conducted at 11:00 AM on Thursday, 4 June 2020 at the Oceanview Cemetery, Chaplain Patrick Whaley of Community Hospice officiating.
He is survived by his sister, Jo Hall and his children; James H. Miller, Jr and partner, Paula Smith; Robert C. Miller and wife, Darlene Miller; Michael J. Miller, Sr. and wife, Lillie Miller; Cynthia M. Austin and Betsy M. Chadney. Also survived by his grandchildren and great grandchildren, Brandon Chadney and wife, Alyssa; Christopher Miller; James Miller, III and wife Ali, their children, Kairi and Roran; Michael Miller, Jr., his wife, Lee, and their child Emerson. His many special nieces, nephews, several “adopted” daughters and sons counted him as Dad; along with a host of very close friends. Jim seemed to gather people.
He enlisted in the United States Navy during WWII at an early age, celebrating his sixteenth birthday aboard ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. He served on several distinguished ships including the USS Little Rock and the USS Wisconsin. Toward the end of the war, he sailed to ports all over the world offering humanitarian aid.
After his Honorable Discharge in Norfolk, he brought his wife back to Beaufort. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Civil Service aboard US Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point starting with the Utilities Division and was later honored as the youngest appointed Chief Engineer of Steam Operations for the base.
He retired with Civil Services and began a second career as a tug boat engineer working out of the Morehead City Port. He studied and worked to gain his Captain’s license and moved on to long haul towing steadily increasing his licenses to Unlimited Tonnage Towing for Coastal and River ways in the US.
The long periods away from home led him to pursue a third career. He designed and built with the help of several of Carteret Counties finest boat builders a long line trawler, the Privateer. He and his son, Joe fished several years up and down the east coast.
His fourth and final career was as Captain aboard the NC State Marine Fisheries Research Vessel Long Bay. He and his crew adapted the Long Bay, a former Army LCU to enable reef restoration operations helping to renew and establish new reef systems and to seed oysters along NC’s coast until his retirement.
In addition to his various working gigs, he liked to have fun. He owned, maintained and flew his own plane. Traveled various places with his kids, including towing a camper many places. He also owned, maintained and sailed his own small sail boat on which he and his wife enjoyed many sunset sails. He loved to “tinker” in his workshop and he even designed and built several working canons which traditionally were fired every 4th of July during family celebrations.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to: Community Home Care and Hospice, PO Box 245, Swansboro, NC 28584, PAWS Pet Adoption, 5042 Mattie St, Morehead City NC 28557 or to a charity of one’s choice.
Condolences and life tributes may be sent to the family at www.noefs.org
Arrangements by Noe Funeral Service, Inc. of Beaufort, NC.