A. Miller Photo.jpg

Alexander Miller died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021, due to complications from cholangiocarcinoma.  

Lex was born on May 28, 1948, in the small fishing village of Donaghadee, Northern Ireland.  He soon moved to Belfast where he recalled riding a double-decker city bus to school.  

In the summer of 1954, his family emigrated from Ireland to the United States.  With accommodations in steerage, they sailed from Cobh, Ireland aboard The Georgic.  Upon arrival in New York City the family traveled by train to their new home in Washington, D.C. 

Later they moved to Rockville, Maryland. Lex attended Peary High School, where he was Class President, competed on ‘It’s Academic’ and took his future wife, Pam, on their first date to the Junior Prom.  

In 1966, Lex headed off to Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He represented Lehigh on the ‘GE College Bowl’ game show with an undefeated run. In May of 1970, Lex earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, celebrated his 22nd birthday and married the love of his life; all in one week. Lex and Pam started their married life together in Bethlehem: Pam taught first grade and Lex earned a Master of Arts and Teaching while also teaching Math and English.

In 1971, they returned to Maryland where Lex began teaching in Montgomery County Public Schools.  During this time, he and Pam welcomed their first child, Chris, and then settled in Gaithersburg. In 1980, Lex shifted his career and took a job with actuarial firm The Wyatt Company (now Willis Towers Watson).  He and Pam welcomed their second child, Elizabeth, while Lex continued taking actuarial exams to earn his Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (FSA) designation.  He took a brief leave of absence which was intended as a time of study and reflection on his future career path. The leave of absence proved fruitful; Lex decided to transition from a consulting position to leading a team in the research center.  He continued his employment with Wyatt until his retirement in 2002.

Lex pursued many hobbies and interests.  He loved biking and rode the C & O Canal towpath from D.C. to Cumberland, one section at a time. It was on this route that he discovered Shepherdstown.  He was looking for a place to park his bike and have lunch when he happened upon the small college town.  Over time and later visits, it became his dream destination after retirement. Years after his initial visit, he and Pam made the move in 2004. Here they found an amazing community of people, which far exceeded their dreams of small town living. 

In retirement, and with his children launched into the world, Lex worked to support and become a part of the community he had discovered. He made many wonderful friends, each supportive of the community in their own way, lending their talents and gifts for the greater good.

Everywhere he went he brought boundless knowledge, wisdom, and a broad perspective. He cared about the future that none of us would live to see. To that end, he: installed solar panels, bought locally, composted daily, didn’t use toxic chemicals on his lawn and quietly drank his water from the tap. 

His seemingly endless knowledge base was driven by a lifetime of reading and a curiosity to understand and make sense of the world. He had wit, recall, a dry sense of humor and a clarity for solving problems. Though he worked hard and conscientiously, he was ever cognizant of the huge role luck and circumstance play in the health, wealth and happiness of us all.  He was keenly aware of the inequalities and hardships endured by others. He strove to right the balance where he could, working most comfortably behind the scenes. He used his gifts and his wisdom to take care of those he loved and to contribute and share his talents and treasure with those in need.

Given a mind for figures, he did AARP Volunteer tax-aide for 20 years. First in Maryland. Then in West Virginia. He was treasurer of the local Audubon Society and the Fernbank Home Owners Association, among other board positions. 

Given a healthy body, he regularly gave platelets to the Red Cross Blood Bank for over 20 years. He volunteered with Good Shepherd Caregivers providing transport to doctor’s appointments.

Given a love of books and a passion for reading, he volunteered at the Shepherdstown Public Library delivering and returning library books for the Shepherdstown Day Care Center classrooms. He also supported the development of the building of the new Shepherdstown Library. He delivered “The Good News” paper to Jefferson County locations.

Given that he always had enough to eat, he supported food programs in the State of West Virginia and beyond. 

Given his love of the arts, he supported the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University. He was an active member of the Shepherdstown Film Society, wearing many hats to help bring movies, entertainment and discussion to its audiences for free. 

Lex was loved, admired and respected as a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and by a large circle of family and friends. He could make Pam laugh like no one else and with just a few words turn her upside down world right side up. A role model to us all, he was proud of his children and those they chose to marry.  Proud of their accomplishments and how they lived their lives with intelligence, responsibility, compassion and empathy, becoming loving, skillful parents doing their best to raise the grandsons who brought him so much joy, and that he so loved.  He will be missed.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Hospice of the Panhandle would be appreciated. 

Arrangements are being handled by Enders & Shirley Funeral Home, Berryville, VA. Online condolences may be made at endersandshirley.com.


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