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Passing of John Merriman Miler PDF Print E-mail
Written by occalumni   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 21:48

John Merriman Miller, age 76, of Knoxville, formerly of Washington D.C. and Denver,  died on Thursday, June 12, 2014, after a brief illness.

Mr. Miller was graduated from  Duke University in 1959 and Wake Forest University Law School in 1962. He was an unabashed, unrepentant fan of Duke athletics and he was a substantial contributor to the Iron Dukes. He grew up in Durham, North Carolina; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Knoxville,  Tennessee. Mr. Miller, a highly respected attorney, had a uniquely distinguished career in the government and in the private sector, principally in Washington, D.C. and he was admitted to the Bars of Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Colorado. As a government  lawyer, from 1962 to 1982, Mr. Miller worked for the United States Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, D.C., first as commissioned national bank examiner and then in the law department, completing his tenure as Deputy Chief Counsel and Acting Chief  counsel for the banking agency, which is the primary regulator of national banks. He dynamically led the agency's law department during some of the most challenging eras in American banking and he was an early pioneer in consumer protection. In 1982, he left  the government to join Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in the firm's banking practice in Denver, Colorado, and in Washington, D.C. where he was instrumental in breaking down geographical barriers to interstate banking. He returned to Washington, D.C. in 1984  and he continued his banking practice in other large law firms where he represented commercial banks, investment banks, and life insurance companies, and he advised insurgents in their hostile takeover of a multi-billion holding company.

In 1995, he was appointed  deputy to the first Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior, to help the Special Trustee reform the broken, century old, multi-billion dollar Individual Indian Trust and enable the United States to begin to discharge trust  duties that it has owed more than 500,000 individual Indian trust beneficiaries since 1887. In 2002, Mr. Miller retired from the Interior Department and in 2007, he returned to the home in Knoxville where he spent part of his childhood.  He was preceded in  death by his father, Charles H. Miller Jr., mother, Audrey Glenn Johnson Beck.  He is survived by his family; brother and sister-in-law, Charles H. (Chuck) Miller III and wife Patricia of Loudon, Tennessee; nieces and nephews, Alicia A. O’Connor, Charles H.  Miller IV and wife Angie, Timi L. Smith and husband Charles, Lindy Curtsinger, Lisa Houser; great nieces and nephews, Keagan Mac O’Connor, Sydney Smith, Lindy Smith, Bryce Curtsinger, Blake Curtsinger, Callie Houser, Nikki Miller, Charles H.(Chase)Miller V;  cousin, who was like a brother, Lattis Merriman Johnson and wife Shirley of Oak Island North Carolina.

The family will receive friends 3:30-5:00 p.m. Saturday June 28, 2014 followed by a 5:00 p.m. Memorial Service at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel with  Reverend Tim Meadows officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be made to the University of Tennessee Legal Clinic, 1505 West Cumberland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37996-1810 or Miller’s Chapel Baptist Church, Turkey Creek Rd., Tellico Plains,  TN   37385.  Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel , 6200 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 .  Online condolences may be made at www.rosemortuary.com.