A.C. Miller, 61, resident of West Tisbury, died at his home near Lambert’s Cove, Thursday, July 22. He passed peacefully just before sunset, surrounded by his loving wife, June, their Westie Marley, family and friends.
Born in 1948 to Loretta Hunsberger and Clifford Eugene Miller in Clay Center, Kansas, A.C. (his formal name, though also known as “Ace”) lived a loving life that embraced family, business, world events, politics, and a passion for the present moment. He will be greatly missed and remembered as a loving and steadfast inspiration to all who were fortunate to know him.
After growing up in Kansas and Colorado, A.C. received a degree in political science from Southern Colorado State College in 1970 and earned a Masters in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado in 1973. He subsequently served in the Peace Corps in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 1977 to 1979 as a teacher of computer science and English. His service in Afghanistan established a lifelong passion for social justice, democracy, and politics.
After ten years working for the U.S. Department of Commerce and then as a telecommunications consultant in Boulder, Colo., A.C. relocated to Falls Church, Va., where he worked for American Mobile Systems before forming Spectrum Resources. With savvy vision and good timing under A.C.’s leadership, he and his partners succeeded in business; they capitalized on the exploding radio and telecommunications industry by obtaining hundreds of radio spectrum licenses throughout the U.S., which later contributed to the foundation of the national cellular phone system. Subsequently, the same team went on to build a flourishing radio tower company which owned over 100 communications towers at the time it was very successfully sold. In Virginia, A.C. also served local government on the Falls Church City’s Economic Development Authority.
He was well known as a coach and supporter of many youth sports teams, especially at George Mason High School and High Point Pool. He embraced many passions, especially the academic and athletic achievements of his kids and their friends. A.C. was devoted to physical fitness and completed a triathalon and several Marine Corps marathons as well as being an avid golfer. His love of the New York Times crosswords, driving his BMW M5, and traveling throughout the world gave him great pleasure.
A.C. became a full-time resident of the Vineyard in 2009, when he was the Executive Director of the Men’s Bereavement Group of Martha’s Vineyard — a fitting final life’s coda that combined his passion for business with the desire to help those in need.
He is survived by his loving wife, June Myers Miller, of West Tisbury; his daughter, Rory Leraris, and her husband, Mike, of New York, N.Y.; his son, Robin and his wife, Katelyn, of Columbus, Ohio; his stepsons, Justin and Tobias Myers, Tobias’ wife, Leslie, and Tobias and Leslie’s children, Lily and Tanner of Martha’s Vineyard. He is also survived by his mother, Loretta Miller, of Keytesville, Mo., and his former wife, Barbara Grable Miller of Washington, D.C. He was preceded in death by his father, his sister, Patricia Simmons of Palm Desert, Calif., his brother, Dr. William Miller of Keytesville, Mo., and his loyal Newfie, Huckleberry.
In lieu of flowers or other tokens of love, A.C.’s family asks that donations be made to Island Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 or The Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 2214, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Celebrations of A.C.’s life are being planned for the fall on Martha’s Vineyard and in Falls Church, Va.