Arthur J. Miller Sr., 80, construction manager, estimator

June 20, 1998|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Arthur J. Miller Sr., a retired construction projects manager, mechanical estimator and contract negotiator, died Wednesday DTC of pancreatic cancer at his College Park residence. He was 80.

Mr. Miller learned his trade while growing up in South Baltimore and apprenticing with his father, who owned the Joseph E. Miller Mechanical Contracting Co.

After the death of his father in 1940, he established the Arthur J. Miller Co., which he operated until 1958. That year, he joined Lloyd E. Mitchell Inc., a mechanical, plastering and acoustical contracting firm, as an industrial design projects manager.

Mr. Miller supervised the installation of heating, air conditioning and plumbing in such places as the General Electric Building in Columbia and Gallaudet University and the Sam Rayburn House Office Building, both in Washington.

The Rayburn building, named for a speaker of the House of Representatives and completed in 1965, was likely Mr. Miller's -- favorite project, said his wife of 24 years, the former Margaret Gallagher. "He felt it was his building and when driving by, he'd always point to it and boast about it."

After the closing of Lloyd E. Mitchell Inc. in 1976, he joined the staff of the architect of the Capitol as a mechanical contracting estimator and negotiator.

The architect of the Capitol is responsible for overseeing mechanical and structural operations at the Capitol, the Senate and House office buildings, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and the Botanical Gardens and power plant.

He later held a similar position with the General Services Administration and the Smithsonian Institution before retiring in 1983.

"He was tough and a very principled man who knew his business. He couldn't be buffaloed," Mrs. Miller said of her husband. "He would hold contractors to estimates and specifications and if there were changes, he wanted to know why and what they would cost."

Mr. Miller graduated from Southern High School. He was married in 1940 to the former Delores Franke, who died in 1972.

He was an avid saltwater fisherman and a voracious reader.

He was also a communicant, lector and Eucharistic minister at Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic Church, 4902 Berwyn Road, College Park, where a Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 10 a.m. today.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Arthur J. Miller Jr. of Baltimore and Michael Miller of Germantown; a daughter, Ann Gumula of Gaithersburg; two granddaughters; and 53 nieces and nephews.

Pub Date: 6/20/98

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