Ron Miller


Ronald Joseph Miller, RJ, died the morning of July 3, 2024 from complications of cancer. 

He was born July 8, 1946 in Watertown South Dakota.  Ron was the second child of six born to Glenn Wilcox Miller and Harriet Roby Miller.  He attended Immaculate Conception School, Watertown High School, class of 1964, and University of South Dakota where he received his Bachelors degree in Sociology in 1968.  Following graduation he spent the summer driving a cab in Minneapolis. Then due to a shortage of teachers in rural school districts he was recruited to teach fourth grade in Carsonville, Michigan. He moved on to University of Toledo in Ohio receiving his MA in Sociology in 1972 and then to Washington State University receiving his Ph.D. in 1980.  During his studies at Washington State, he developed an interest in the history and sociology of Skid Row.  His dissertation was published in 1982 by Lexington Books D.C. Heath and Company, under the title THE DEMOLITION OF SKID ROW.  While completing his dissertation Ron taught Sociology at University of North Dakota for two years before joining the faculty at Chadron State College in 1976. After 32 years, in 2008, Ron retired from teaching at Chadron State as Professor Emeritus.

Above all, Ron had a love and commitment to his family, friends who became family, and community. Wellness led him to start the Chadron Natural Food Co-Op in 1976 as part of a Sociology class project. Community led him to participate in Chadron Rotary Club, Chadron Arts Center Board, and Chadron State’s Golden Eagles. Fitness led him to Chadron Karate Club; through which he gained friends and strength, persistence earned him a black belt in his fifties. In addition to karate, he practiced yoga from age 22 until his passing. 

Ron consistently looked for and created beauty in the world around him, be it in his back yard when gardening, engaged in creative building projects, or when visiting family and friends. And, curiosity, family and friendship also lead him on many cross country drives in his ’66 Dodge van earlier in life and multiple trips to India later in life. 

Ron is survived by his wife of 40 years, Marguerite Vey-Miller, daughters Maureen (Dan) Hunt of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nicole (Justin) Bottsford-Miller Bozeman, Montana, and Monica Miller of Denver, Colorado, grandchildren Charlie and Leina of Minneapolis, siblings Steve (Charlotte) Miller of Prior Lake, Minnesota, Ginny (Woody) Weeks of Brookings, South Dakota, Mike (Marilyn) Miller of Otsego, Minnesota and Judy Miller of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was preceded in death by oldest daughter Andrea Nadine Miller, parents Harriet and Glenn Miller, and brother Jerry Miller.

Ron will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery in Chadron, Nebraska with a Celebration of Life at the Chadron Arts Center at a later date.