2013-04-11 / Obituaries

Earl J. Miller, Jr.

Earl J. Miller, Jr. passed away peacefully into God’s eternal care on Wednesday, March 13, at the age of 86. E.J. was born on Dec. 13, 1926, in Los Angeles to Earl Joyce Sr. and Vera Miller. He was preceded in death by his son, David Miller; and his only brother, Charles Robert Miller.

E.J. attended UCLA and received his medical degree from

Stanford University School of Medicine. He trained in orthopaedic surgery at Los Angeles County General Hospital and Rancho Los Amigos Hospital. He served as a medical officer in the United States Navy and was a veteran of the Korean War. He and his partner were the first orthopaedic surgeons in Anaheim where he worked for over 25 years. He was a founding member and past president of the Orange County Orthopaedic Association, as well as chairman of orthopaedics and surgery at Anaheim Memorial Hospital and Martin Luther Hospital. He was a Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Loma Linda University, School of Medicine and helped to promote continuing medical education by lecturing to physicians, nurses and various community groups.

E.J. was not only a caring surgeon but also an excellent carpenter, building barbecue tables for family picnics, a playhouse for his daughter, adding decks onto his homes and entire rooms onto his cabin in Big Bear. Through his enthusiasm, E.J.’s granddaughter and sons also learned to enjoy woodworking. He loved the outdoors and especially the mountains. E.J. would take his family on many skiing, camping and backpacking trips throughout the wilderness of the Western states. His passion was fly fishing and he passed the art of fly casting on to his sons and grandsons.

E.J. enjoyed music and singing in the Phi Psi Barbershop Quartet throughout college, medical school, and many years thereafter. His quartet was bestowed a great honor from UCLA as the founder and initiator of the infamous “Spring Sing at UCLA.” He loved to create poems and stories which he would then set to music. Accompanied by his guitar, E.J. would sing these funny tales to the delight of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Having always had the desire to own his own tractor, E.J. retired in 1982 to raise wine grapes in Hunter’s Valley. His beautiful, five-acre vineyard boasted perfect Zinfandel, Shiraz, and Cabernet grapes. He was president of the Mariposa Wine Grape Association and produced award winning wines under several different labels. He won many first place ribbons for his artistic endeavors in photography by entering his art in the Mariposa County Fair. He was a volunteer with the Williams Peak Fire Watch and, with his faithful dog Brix, he would keep a watchful eye for any sign of a possible fire. His claim to fame was having attended middle school with Norma Jean Baker (Marilyn Monroe) and having danced with Shirley Temple at the age of 15.

E.J. had a beautiful smile and was kind to all. He had a gentle understanding of people and was always filled with a joy for life. He was happiest when his family was together, enjoying each other. He was the perfect example of “love is patient and kind, never jealous or boastful or proud”.

E.J. will be missed by all of his friends and family including his wife of 63 years, Shirley Jo; and their children: Linda, Doug and Rick; as well as his six grandchildren: Andrew, Laura, Kristine, Gabe, Justin and Matthew; and his four great-grandchildren: William, Emily, Evan and Desiree.

A memorial celebration service will be held at the Mariposa Lutheran Church on June 22 at 11 am.

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