John Compton Miller of Marysville, Washington, passed away at the Puget Sound VA Hospital in Seattle, Washington, on Oct. 14, 2020, at the age of 66. He was born on March 14, 1954, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
John attended the Boy’s Trade and Technical High School in Milwaukee (now Bradley Technology and Trade School), where he graduated cum laude in 1972.
John entered the Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1976 with a degree in civil engineering. He was the founder and first coach of the Academy Rugby Club/Team. John attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving a master’s degree in civil engineering in 1983.
Following graduation and commissioning, he was assigned as an engineering officer aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Mellon in Honolulu, Hawaii, and public works officer for Base Honolulu. Other follow-on assignments included Facilities Design & Construction Center West in Seattle, Washington; Shore Division, Maintenance & Logistics Command Pacific in Alameda, California, followed by a tour as executive officer at Civil Engineering Unit Oakland, California.
In August 2002, he was assigned as the facilities engineer at Integrated Support Command Kodiak. He went on to additional Kodiak assignments as the executive officer and commanding officer, and retired with the rank of captain in 2000. His active-duty Coast Guard awards include two Meritorious Service Medals, two Commendation Medals, three Achievement Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. He also received the Society of American Military Engineers Oren Medal as Coast Guard Engineer of the Year. John returned to the Coast Guard in a civilian capacity as a civil engineer for Facilities Design & Construction Center Seattle, and finally in 2009 for Civil Engineering Unit Juneau, where he served with distinction until his retirement in March 2020.
Throughout his 27 years of service to Coast Guard Team Kodiak, his outstanding work ethic, visionary leadership, laser focus and dogged determination were instrumental in building new facilities and transitioning existing ones from World War II construction era into state-of-the-art, modern facilities for the benefit of all Coast Guard personnel that live and work at Kodiak. Equally important, he provided outstanding mentorship and education to two generations of Coast Guard engineers and junior personnel. He was always driven to do good things for others and, in his unpretentious and magnanimous style, made their lives better.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Ted and Jean Miller of Arlington, Washington. He is survived by his wife Strauda Miller of Marysville, Washington, two sisters Dr. Susan DeFrancesco of Belton, Texas, and Nancy Emons of Jefferson, Wisconsin, and one daughter Patricia Valerio of Kodiak, Alaska.
John will be laid to rest at a private ceremony at the West Virginia National Cemetery, Grafton, West Virginia. A memorial service will be scheduled by the Kodiak Noon Rotary Club in Kodiak once COVID-19 considerations are no longer required.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to the Captain John Miller Scholarship Fund, which will benefit students at Bradley Technology and Trade School in Milwaukee who wish to pursue an engineering degree following graduation. Contributions may be made to “Captain John Miller S.F.” and forwarded to Strauda Miller, P.O. Box 882, Marysville, WA 98270.