James G. E. Miller
James Gary Ellis Miller, 20, died September 19, 2015 at Keystone House hospice in Wyndmoor. He was born in Philadelphia and lived in Chestnut Hill and Wyndmoor all his life. Though short, his life was a happy one. He loved playing with the five boys who lived just across the street, participated in Chestnut Hill soccer and little league teams, and enjoyed riding his bike, skateboarding, sledding and snowboarding. He attended Plymouth Meeting Friends School and was a member of the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. James was an enthusiastic learner and especially enjoyed studying Antarctica, salt-water crocodiles, and musicology. He had many memorable Halloween costumes and is perhaps best remembered as the Mad Scientist, wearing a white lab coat and carrying a beaker filled with dry ice in the school parade. During summers and holidays he made many trips with his family to the mountains of North Carolina and the Georgia coast to visit his grandparents.
James graduated from Springfield Township High School in 2013. There he excelled in the visual arts, creative writing and journalism, and played saxophone in the school band. He was active in the Youth And Government organization as a member of its Press Corps and Editor-in-Chief of its 2013 newspaper. In the High School’s 2012 student art exhibition James’ wire sculpture received the Juror’s Award. In 2013 he received the High School’s Myra Plumridge Art Award and an award for Best in 2D Category in the PA State Education Association’s Annual Art Exhibition, a juried show featuring works from 27 regional high schools.
James was a prolific cartoonist. He posted his work on Tumblr and authored a comic strip titled “Document One” for the STHS student newspaper, where he also served as a movie critic and reporter. James was drawn to the visual arts due to his own talent and the influence of his father, Gary Miller, a local artist and teacher who died in 2013.
James attended art school at Ohio University, which awarded him a Fine Arts Talent Trustee Award and Academic Scholarship. He later transferred to Temple University, in the city he loved, to pursue his B.A. James was keenly interested in creative writing and 2D illustration, and spent many hours pursuing these passions on his own.
James had a sharp intellect, a quirky and playful sense of humor, and great sensitivity. He was a voracious reader and adored music of many genres, ranging from jazz, folk and rock to contemporary music. He was a fan of the Philadelphia Folk Festival and enjoyed attending concerts at many venues throughout the city.
He is survived by his mother, Jo Ann Miles Miller, of Wyndmoor; sister, Laura Miller and godfather John Hunt, both of New York City; girlfriend Phoebe Funderberg-Moore of Mt. Airy; grandmother, Evalyn Miles, of Savannah, GA; aunts Laura Crank, Judy Newbern and Lynne Clark; and eight cousins. He was loved intensely and will be missed forever.
Relatives and friends are invited to James’ Memorial Service Saturday October 10th, 1:30pm at the Church of St Martin-in-the –Fields. Internment is Private.
Contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to KeystoneCare Hospice, 8765 Stenton Ave., Wyndmoor PA 19038; Church of St. Martin-in-the Fields, 8000 St. Martin’s Lane, Philadelphia PA 19038; or Plymouth Meeting Friends School, 2150 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting PA 19462.
Michael and I cannot imagine the intensity of sorrow that you are going through. Words fail us both. We are thinking of you and wish that you find some sort of peace for yourself given the immense loss that has been added to your life.
Angela & Michael
It almost seems unseemly to write publicly of such a personal loss. It is just as upsetting to lose a child when you are still so young. I am deeply affected by your suffering, although unable to assuage it. I hope that you and Laura will come to California to visit. Please be in touch when you can. Judith
what a brilliant, lively, alert and beautiful life james lived. may we all take something away from that. he set a high bar.
James was in my science class in 8th grade and everyday I saw that light in him. Curiosity and creativity met constructive effort and Springfield Township High School was lucky to have him.