John Edward Miller

Obituary of John Edward Miller

MILLER - John Edward Miller was born to Edward and Alice Miller on 26th September, 1929, at 23 Hampden Road, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, in the English County Durham. He died on the 7th January, 2005, in Regina at the age of 75. He was an only son; his sister Halcyon was not born until 1943. He enjoyed a very happy childhood, thanks in large part to the loving kindness of his maternal grandparents, whom he revered. He married three times, "all excellent wives, had six children of his own, sixteen grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. At the time of his death, he was in deep mourning for the loss of his grandson Murdoch Duncan McLeod and the illness of his second wife, Olive May Miller. His first marriage was blessed with Joanne (Murdy, Jamie and Katy), Charles (Richard, Alexandra and Elizabeth) and Ian (Ruth, Matthew, Ruby, and Jed). From his second marriage are John (Stephan, Tommy, Ashton), Peter (Jalal, Sapha, Sohail) and George. Young Iona McLeod, Murdys daughter, was an important presence to him. He joined with Gae in 1980, and lovingly assisted in the raising of her five birth children and five stepdaughters. He received his medical degrees in July, 1956. In 1960 he immigrated to Canada, working for a year in Red Deer, Alberta. It was then that he heard of Tommy Douglas, who was the socialist premier of Saskatchewan, trying to introduce universal health care coverage in the province. Edward therefore moved to Saskatchewan. During the doctors strike of July 1962, he gathered signatures to impeach the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the hope of ending the withdrawal of services which he considered unnecessary. He founded a Community Clinic in Estevan, but this was eventually brought down, in spite of being popular with patients. For many years he lived and practised medicine in Arcola, Saskatchewan, which became "home to him and his young family until he took up family practice in Regina and married Gae. He was fortunate to receive a post in Uranium City, in the far north of Saskatchewan, where he enjoyed flying in small planes to outlying clinics for a year and a half. After his return to Regina, he practiced with less responsibility in walk-in clinics. He retired in September, 2002 after coronary bypass surgery. As for his politics, he was a life-long member of either the British Labour Party or the Canadian New Democratic Party. In his student days, he was elected National Vice President of the Student Labour Federation. During the tenure of Premier Woodrow Lloyd of Saskatchewan, he was elected to the partys Provincial Council. All his life, music and art were essential to him, and he learned to love literature and poetry. As a student he played violin in the College Orchestra, sang in the choir, and eventually joined the madrigal society, experience which laid the foundation of a lifetime of music-making. He gives thanks to friends and relatives for a full and happy life, and recommends to all the maxim of the Latin poet, Horace: Dum loquimur, fugerit invida/Aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. (Book I Ode xi)

"As we talk, churlish time is fleeing:

Grasp today; trust least to tomorrow.

Dr. Miller's body has been entrusted to Speers Funeral Chapel for cremation. In Regina, there will be a memorial service and interment of cremains in May, which will be announced in this column. At that time, his family in England will inter part of the cremains beside his mother and grandparents.