Ernest Stephen Miller was born July 14, 1922 in Windber, Pennsylvania to Hungarian immigrants, Joseph and Esther Miller (Molnar). He shared memories of attending a predominantly Hungarian church growing up and of his mother singing about Jesus as she cleaned house. Ernest graduated from Olney High School and went on to Strayer Business School, both in Philadelphia, PA.
Ernest worked two years for E.F. Houghton & Co. (Industrial Oils) as a clerk and office manager, before enlisting in the United States Naval Reserve in October,1942-September,1945. Highlights of service include one-year convoy duty aboard the destroyer escort U.S.S. SIMS (DE-154) in the Caribbean and North Atlantic. Most significantly, after sustaining an eye injury and subsequent transfer to the Naval Research Lab, Ernest met the love of his life, Eugenia Wilson, a WAVE, also working in the Employee Relations Office of NRL. They were wed November 10, 1944 and lived happily married until Eugenia (Jean) passed October 13, 2000.
After his military service, Ernest began a highly successful career with the Government of the District of Columbia. He held positions in the D.C. Departments of Health, Personnel, and General Administration – most notably as Special Assistant to the Engineer Commissioner – before becoming the Executive Assistant to the Director of Administration, Department of Finance and Revenue. Ernest was commended for his participation in planning many special events held in Washington, D.C. during his tenure, including the 1960 Boy Scout Jubilee and the 1961 Inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. He retired in 1976.
Ernest was an active member of Riverdale Presbyterian Church, the A & A Scottish Rite Freemasonry, 32 degree, and the Almas Shriners Flag Unit. He enjoyed playing the organ, playing golf, being punctual (usually 30 minutes early for church and most engagements) and a dapper appearance – including freshly pressed clothes and a cleanshaven face.
Ernest’s greatest pride and joy was his family. While most people knew him as Ernie, his biggest fans called him Dad, Granddad, PopPop, Big Granddad, and Great PopPop. He always had a kind or encouraging word, a ready smile, and a sincere interest in the best for others. He practiced his faith in Christ, his unconditional love for family, and his respect for all.
He is survived by his two daughters - Barbara Martin (husband, Mike) and Esther Marsh (husband, David); his seven grandchildren – Jennifer Gemmill (husband, Glenn), Colleen Wilson (husband, Brent), and Jeffrey Martin, Rebecca Mendenhall (husband, Ronnie), Christopher Marsh (wife, Dulciana), Sharon Sandoval (husband, Michael), and Heather Marsh; and his nine great-grandchildren – Matthew and Jake Gemmill, Ella and Ben Wilson, Savannah Martin, Levi and Adam Mendenhall, Pascoal Marsh, and Gracelynne Sandoval.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Ernest Miller to Sagepoint Senior Services Foundation, 10200 LaPlata Road, LaPlata, MD 20646. www.sagepointcare.org
To My Family and Friends
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me.
I took His hand when I heard Him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
My Jean was waiting, no time to delay.
My trials on earth have all gone away
I found peace last Friday.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things, I too, will miss.
My life’s been full, I savored much
Good family, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Ninety-Seven years was not too brief
Lift up your heart and share with me.
God wanted me now, He set me free.
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