Chris J. Miller, 88, of Denver, Colo., died June 5, 2021, after a short illness. He was born Feb. 28, 1933, to Jacob E. and Polly (Helmuth) Miller in Arthur, Ill.
He was raised in an Amish/conservative Mennonite family. As a young man he followed his pacifist beliefs, doing alternative service with a milk-testing program in Wisconsin. It was there that he learned to fly small airplanes, fulfilling a life-long interest. His career with United Airlines began in Chicago and continued in Los Angeles, Lombard, Ill., and Denver. He was a member of First Mennonite Church of Denver since the mid-1960s.
While he only completed eighth grade originally, he was a lifelong learner and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Denver’s Metropolitan State College in 1972. Education was a great value, and he urged his children to follow their questions. He took pleasure in challenging his children to consider multiple points of view and see the world’s complexity. He was curious about the world and spent many evenings reading in the local library. He loved to travel, always fascinated by the mystery of “what’s out there?”
Occasionally his children would come home from school to an impromptu outing to Los Angeles, where they would walk on the beach for a few hours then take the next flight back home. Determined that his children be comfortable and equipped to explore the world independently, he taught them to ride city buses in elementary school. He enjoyed airplanes and travel and worked 35 years for United Airlines.
After retiring from United, he enjoyed working for an auto drive away company, delivering cars around the country and taking time to visit Amish and Mennonite communities and make connections with his extended family. In his later years, he relished getting to know his grandchildren and sharing in their interests and achievements.
Survivors include his wife, Lola Miller; a daughter, Anita Miller (Steve Stutzman); a son, Tim (Tracy) Miller; and four grandchildren, all in the Denver area.
There will be a private memorial service. He chose to donate his body to the Colorado Anatomical Board, where medical students and researchers will continue to learn from him.