Russell W. Miller recently passed away peacefully at the age of 73. He spent most of his life in York, PA.
He was born in Santiago, Cuba in 1949. His parents Elliott and Helen Miller (both deceased) had moved to Cuba when Elliott served in the US Embassy there. Russell’s brother Mark was born three years later when their parents were stationed in Guatemala. They moved back stateside a few years later and eventually settled in York.
Russell attended Hiestand Elementary School and York Suburban Junior High School, eventually completing his education at Schuylerville Prep School in Schuylerville NY. He later worked as a dishwasher at York restaurants and as a laundry worker at the York Hospital.
Russell never said a bad word about anyone. His classmates and family were amazed that he always seemed to be in a good mood. He was a loyal brother and a good son. He tried his best to meet the expectations of his teachers and family. Yorkers would see him walking for miles across town to visit his mom and dad or to go grocery shopping. In addition, he was welcomed and watched over by the cigar smokers who lounged at the former Hain’s Pipe Shop on S. George St. For many years the Bell Socialization Services staff across the street helped Russell to live on his own.
In his youth, Russ’s friends and cousins constantly challenged him. They would randomly ask him what the temperature was. He would sniff the air and announce the temperature accurately within a degree. He also could tell the time at any time of day without a watch - usually within a minute or two. His friends at the bus stop also quizzed him on multiplication. By the time he was in junior high, he could instantly answer such problems as 131 X 14. On his own, he learned the birthdate and year of almost all of his extended family members. In elementary school Russell spent hours every day after classes shooting foul shots at the Hiestand Elementary basketball court. He eventually won the York County foul shooting contest for his age group. In his teens he played on the JCC basketball team and could defeat even varsity players in Around the World. At Camp Airy in Thurmont, MD, Russ made 30 straight baskets to win the camp foul shooting tournament.
The Miller family played a lot of ping pong. Russ was steady and fearless, calmly returning the most wicked spin shots and rocket slams. He rarely went on the offense. He just returned those shots in an easy lob to the middle of the table. His opponents eventually became frustrated and missed, allowing Russ to win the game and earn the admiration of his whole family. Russell bowled regularly at York bowling lanes. He had an awkward unorthodox style, but he could focus and deliver the ball consistently to his target. He relished a 7-10 split as a challenge and kept score in his head. He was proud of his high score of 248. In his later years, he enjoyed being outdoors and playing miniature golf at Heritage Hills Golf Resort. He often scored a hole in one and was disappointed when he finished over par.
A funeral service will be held at Prospect Hill Cemetery at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to Bell Socialization Services of York PA.