Wayne Lowell Miller, 91, WWII vet, Church of the Brethren minister, campus minister

By on July 13, 2016

Wayne Lowell Miller, 91, of Lititz, died June 24, 2016, at The Courtyards, Brethren Village.

Dr. Miller was born in Wabash County, Ind., the son of Russell Lowell Miller and Elvah Ogden Miller, and was the husband of Gwendolyn Studebaker Miller, to whom he was married for almost 69 years.

Dr. Miller’s education included a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College, a master’s degree from Purdue University, a bachelor of divinity degree (1954) from Bethany Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in oral communications from the University of Southern California.

He was an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, serving in both pastoral and educational ministries. As pastor he served Brethren congregations in Colfax and Markle, Ind.; Dixon, Ill.; and Phoenix, Ariz.; as well as the Methodist congregation in South Pasadena, Calif.

As a college administrator, he served as campus minister of McPherson College, McPherson, Kansas, from 1964 to 1967; dean of faculty and executive vice president of Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, from 1967 to 1975; dean of the college and vice president of the University of La Verne, La Verne, Calif., from 1975 to 1980; president of Woodbury University, Los Angeles and Burbank, Calif., from 1980 to 1989; and president of Bethany Theological Seminary of Lombard, Ill., (now of Richmond, Ind.) from 1989 to 1992. He postponed retirement to serve at Bethany.

While in Los Angeles, Dr. Miller was a member of the Los Angeles Rotary Club, the Jonathan Club, and the Center City West Association. He was chairman of the latter for two years.

He served in the United States Merchant Marines for three years during World War II, sailing in major theaters of operation. He was eligible for the Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Pacific War Zone Medals, as well as the Merchant Marine Emblem.

He was delighted with his family, all of whom became involved in their own families and vocations and have led wonderful productive lives. He particularly owes much to his wife, Gwen, for her love and counsel of nearly 69 years.

He is survived by his wife ,and four children: Kevin Lowell Miller of York County; Christopher Wayne Miller of Lancaster; Teresa Anne (Miller) Craighead of Ithaca, N.Y.; and Sara Lee (Miller) Miller of Modesto, Calif.; five grandsons: Joshua, Noah, Thomas J.; John Miller; and Daniel Craighead; and one great-granddaughter: Samantha Balliet Miller. He is also survived by his brother: Kenneth of North Manchester, Ind.

He is preceded in death by two sisters: Phyllis Miller Grossnickle and Edna May Miller; and one brother: Cecil Miller Pulley.

A memorial service will be held at the Elizabethtown Church of the Brethren, 777 S. Mount Joy St., Elizabethtown, at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 18, with luncheon to follow. Interment will be at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, North Manchester, Ind., at a time of the family’s choosing.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Bethany Theological Seminary, Attn: Jenny Williams, 615 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374-0419 (On the check, note that the contribution is for the Wayne and Gwen Miller Scholarship Fund); or the Good Samaritan Fund of Brethren Village, Brethren Village Development Department, 3001 Lititz Pike, P.O. Box 5093, Lancaster, PA 17606 (On the check, note that the contribution is in memory of Wayne Miller).

Online condolences may be given at snyderfuneralhome.com. Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home and Crematory, Lititz, handled the arrangements.

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