Howard W. Miller, 73, Lutheran pastor who once taught at Catonsville High

May 15, 1999|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Howard William Miller, interim pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Uniontown, died Monday of a heart attack at Gettysburg Hospital in Gettysburg, Pa. He was 73 and lived in Gettysburg.

Mr. Miller, who decided to give up a teaching career and enter the seminary at age 36, spent the next 37 years serving congregations in Baltimore, Pennsylvania and Florida. In addition to his religious duties, he was frequently asked to perform in local theatrical productions, where his roles included the rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof" and the butler in "Annie."

He taught English and dramatics at Catonsville Senior High School in the 1950s and early 1960s before entering the seminary. He was then a member of Second English Lutheran Church on Baltimore National Pike in Westview, where he was later associate pastor.

"He was a very effective preacher with a fine speaking voice," said Second English Lutheran Pastor Augustus Hackmann, who lives in Catonsville. "He was always popular with the congregation."

Born on Glover Street in East Baltimore, Mr. Miller was a 1948 cum laude graduate of Washington College in Chestertown. He earned a master's degree from the University of Maryland in 1950 and was given an honorary doctorate by Newberry College in South Carolina in 1986.

He was ordained Nov. 19, 1961, and received his bachelor of divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg in 1962.

He served Trinity Lutheran Church in Taneytown until 1968, when he returned to Second English Lutheran. From 1973 to 1987, when he retired, he was pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Sarasota, Fla.

In retirement, he took on the role of supply pastor and worked at numerous churches on the Eastern Shore, elsewhere in Maryland and in Virginia and southern Pennsylvania.

While serving a congregation in Wachapreague, Va., he joined the troupe of the Trawler Dinner Theatre in Exmore, Va., and performed in the musicals "Annie," "Fiddler on the Roof," "My Fair Lady" and "The Sound of Music."

In 1952, he married Joan Marie Duncan, who survives him.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, 109 York St. in Gettysburg.

Mr. Miller is also survived by three sons, David Christopher Miller of New Ulm, Minn., Timothy William Miller of Berkeley, Calif., and John Edward Miller of Columbia; a daughter, Susan Marie Stoddard of Newark, Del.; a sister, Mary Elizabeth Stortz of Baltimore; and four grandchildren.

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