Brian William Miller was born January 19, 1948, in Everett, WA, to Florence (Masemore) and Kermit Miller. He passed away at his home on Whidbey Island after a battle with leukemia, on September 17, 2021, having spent a pleasant summer visiting with family and friends, enjoying the views and sunshine on the deck. He was a beloved son, husband, father, Papa, and friend, whose bright smile and easy laughter will be missed but not forgotten.
Brian grew up in Everett. As a teen, he and his brothers starred in a home-made movie enacting Arlo Guthrie's classic song "I Don't Want a Pickle (I Just Want to Ride on My Motor-Sickle.)" He was once taken in by the police after startling motorists by jumping out of the bushes while dressed as a spaceman. He had a great sense of humor and loved to make people laugh.
Brian met his wife of 51 years, Susan, at a dance at the Bayview Community Hall on Whidbey Island in 1967. They both attended Central Washington State College in Ellensburg. Brian married Susan in September 1970, and graduated in 1971 with a degree in Business. Brian started a career in the insurance industry, and worked for Safeco and later for Pemco Insurance, where he made many long-term friendships. He retired in 2003. Brian and Susan moved in 1972 to a home in Kennydale, where they lived for 47 years, until moving to Whidbey Island in 2019.
His entire adult life Brian was a woodworker. He remodeled their home in Kennydale twice. He also built bookshelves and cabinets for every room in the house. Brian was a carpenter and deck-builder, for himself, his family and friends. He constructed an elaborate floor-to-ceiling wrap-around bottle rack for his wine cellar. He later took up wood turning, carving beautiful bowls from local and exotic woods.
Brian spent many weeknights and weekends pursuing two of his passions: sailing and mountain-climbing. He started sailing when he was in his late twenties, and spent many years racing on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and on weekends; he raced at Leschi, Shilshole, Whidbey Island Race Week and Swiftsure. Many summers and holidays were spent as a family cruising in the Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound. Especially memorable were Cabbage Island, Porlier Pass at full ebb, unknown islands in the fog, and, occasionally, waters too shallow for safe passage.
Brian started climbing mountains in 1996. He was soon on training hikes every weekend and some weeknights as he prepared to climb Mt. Rainier. He summitted Mt. Rainier in 1996 and 1998, and also climbed Mts. Baker, Hood, St Helens, Adams, Olympus, Shasta, Whitney and Pico de Orizaba in Mexico, along with many other peaks in the Cascades and the Olympics.
He and Susan enjoyed traveling, and on many occasions were joined by their family or friends on the beach at their favorite place in Zihuantanejo, Mexico. They also took many trips around the United States, and several visits to Europe, both for pleasure, and to watch their son Erik compete in rowing races.
Brian is survived by his wife, Susan (Agren) Miller, sons Erik (Katie) and Kevin (Matt), daughter-in-law Anzara, granddaughters Luisa, Greta, Evelyn and Violet, mother Florence, and brothers David, Jon and Gordy. Brian's wish was for his body to be donated to the University of Washington Medical School Willed Body Program.
A special thank-you to Dr. David Aboulafia, his oncologist of 12 years for his compassionate care through Brian's years of living with multiple myeloma and his final battle with leukemia.
Plans for a party to celebrate his life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (vmmrf.org), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (lls.org), or your favorite charity.