Thursday, September 2, 2010

Charles "Chuck" William Miller, United States Air Force Veteran

Charles “Chuck” William Miller, United States Air Force Veteran

Chuck Miller was born May 4, 1944 at Norwalk, Ohio and died August 19, 2010 at El Dorado, Arkansas at the age of 66. He died, tragically, in a home built experimental airplane shortly after taking off from the airport in El Dorado.  He had flown the airplane from Georgetown, Texas to Norwalk, Ohio to attend his high school reunion and visit relatives.  While flying back to Georgetown he stopped to refuel at the airport.

Chuck proudly served his country in the United States Air Force, first as a munitions officer at Luke AFB, Arizona, then as a navigator in KC-135 aircraft.  During his time as a navigator he served during the Vietnam war flying support missions refueling the B-52 aircraft as they flew their missions. 

After his Air Force service, he attended Ohio State University and earned  his PhD in Chemistry.  He eventually retired from International Business Machines and Freescale in Austin, where he worked as a quality assurance scientist. 

After his daughter, Julie, was killed in a tragic car accident in Austin, he decided to get his private pilot’s license and built his own airplane from a Van’s Aircraft kit.

Chuck was a member of the Civil Air Patrol and many other organizations including the National Rifle Association.  He was an avid fan of NASCAR, professional and college football, and cooking shows.

Funeral services were held on August 28 at the Cook-Walden/Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown, Texas.  In attendance were Patriot Guard Riders from the Austin and Centex regions, to form a line of American flags at the entrance of the funeral home, to welcome the arriving family and friends.

At the conclusion of the service, a four plane flight of the Civil Air Patrol performed a fly over of the traditional missing man formation.  The Patriot Guard Riders then led the funeral procession to the IOOF cemetery in east Georgetown for interment with military honors.

At the cemetery, the Riders formed a line of American flags around the grave  site as the Air Force Honor Guard rendered military honors.  The United States flag that had covered the casket, to honor the memory of his service to America, was folded into the tri-cornered shape.  Taps was played by the Air Force bugler, and the flag was presented to Chuck’s wife of  43 years, on behalf  of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation for his faithful and dedicated service.

Charles William Miller was then laid to rest.  Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Suzy, one son, a sister and many other dear family and friends.  His was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Julie Ann, for whom his plane was named.

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds--and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence.  Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

With thanks to the Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home for biographical information.

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