Reuben George Miller, longtime economics professor, dies

Posted on January 20, 2014 by Staff Writer

Reuben George Miller, former professor of economics at Sweet Briar College, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, from heart- and lung complications.

Reuben Miller taught at Sweet Briar from 1970-2003. Reuben Miller taught at Sweet Briar from 1970-2003.

Miller was born in Philadelphia on March 28, 1930. He attended LaSalle University, graduating with an economics degree, and then enrolled in the University of Montana’s graduate program in economics. From there, Miller went to Sweden and Ohio, where he finished his Ph.D. He taught economics at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, the University of Massachusetts and Oberlin, among others, before joining the faculty at Sweet Briar College in 1970. As the Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics, Miller headed the department and taught until his retirement in 2003.

He especially enjoyed the winter term, when he took students to various countries to study their economic systems. A global citizen, Miller spent a year in Taiwan as a Fulbright Scholar and enjoyed reading, traveling, lively conversations and good food. He was a connoisseur of good wine, liqueurs and cigars. He also loved new technology; horses and riding; as well as music — particularly opera — and the theater, both of which he discovered as a teenager. Miller also was skilled in calligraphy, and people who met him were always struck by his wit, his warmth, his good humor, his generosity and his lively, engaged mind.

“I was fortunate to have someone like him to advise me during my first years [at Sweet Briar],” German professor Ron Horwege recalls. “I was for many years a member of the Sweet Briar poker group and joined him and some other male colleagues once a month for poker. He was not an especially talented poker player, but none of us were very good, either. We played cards, chatted and often aired our opinions about everything from campus events to world problems and enjoyed some good food and drinks.

“I miss these evenings and I will miss Reuben. He was a good friend and colleague and a colorful character who will not be forgotten by those who had the good fortune to know him.”

Miller was preceded in death by his father, George Miller, his mother, Edna Miller, and his wife, Sylvia Miller. He is survived by his beloved family in Bozeman, Mont., Jo Anne Salisbury Troxel, the love of his youth, and Allison Troxel.

A memorial service to honor his life will take place at Pilgrim Congregational Church in Billings, Mont., pending arrangements. Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service & Crematory.

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