February 3, 1945 – February 1, 2022 “What if hate lost its way, and the whole world agreed, to return what’s been broken, and fix what’s in need”.
Jeff Miller, a gentle creator and steward of poems, poetry and pelicans, died Tuesday, February 1. Jeffrey P. Miller was born in Los Angeles on February 3, 1945, to parents Nathan (dec.) and Leona (104) Miller. He leaves behind many who loved him including his wife, Joan, his daughter Lesley Mahaffy (Scott), who lovingly cared for Jeff throughout his illness, and son Greg Hudson (Jennifer), his mother, Leona, his brother, David, three grandsons Collin, Logan and Cameron and two granddaughters Jordyn (Zach) and Skylar.Jeff spent much of his US Army stint in the Korean DMZ. In the Army he discovered and read a wide variety of publications. Upon leaving the Army he dedicated himself to reading and to his writing–enrolling in classes, authoring a book and seemingly hundreds of poems and/or poetic musings.
Jeff treasured getaways with Joan and long walks with her in Carmel and Cambria. He enjoyed walking and running along the beach. He was a sports fan generally and specifically a long-suffering Bruin football fan who brightened when basketball time came along; he wanted nothing more than to see the Bruins through this current basketball season. But pancreatic cancer had different ideas and caused his death two days before his 77th birthday. During his battle with cancer Jeff found particular comfort, companionship and joy in his dog Charley; and, while appetite remained, he savored Pinkberry.
Family and old and new friends visited Jeff in the weeks preceding his passing-some friends from as far back as elementary school days.
He was particularly warmed by support and affection from eight members of his close-knit writing group which had been together almost 16 years; this was a group which had listened to his readings [he had, of course, listened to theirs], praised, encouraged and criticized him and, most important of all, loved him. Jeff was a practicing observer and chronicler of his own joyous vision. Indeed, all who were privileged to spend extended time with Jeff saw and knew he took a sincere interest in everyone he met, everywhere he went, and always left people feeling better about the world and themselves. Jeff wrote, “I have heard the voices of those who knew, and of those who thought they did, but did not, and tried to listen and make an effort to understand what should I believe in and then learned as much from what I should not. And every day I am finding out, I still have one more question to ask one more voice to hear or search for and I am grateful mostly”….
There will be no funeral services; Jeff chose the Neptune Society perhaps so he could be with the pelicans. There will be a life celebration on a future date. In lieu of flowers, if one wants to donate, please choose an organization that works against pancreatic cancer or works for rescue dogs.
Jeff was truly a sweet man and those who knew him will miss him; but know that he is where he wants to be: with Rosemary, Rufus and Toogie.
Published by Los Angeles Times on Feb. 19, 2022.
34465541-95D0-45B0-BEEB-B9E0361A315ATo plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.