Joshua Miller, 32, taught youths lacrosse

June 23, 2005|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Joshua Taggart Miller, an All-American college lacrosse player and former investment analyst who after moving to California established a lacrosse program for at-risk inner city youths, ended his life June 16 in Los Angeles. The former Baltimore resident was 32.

Mr. Miller had recently received a diagnosis of depression, said his mother, Sherry Taggart Miller of Oxford.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Mossway, he was a 1991 graduate of Gilman School, where he was co-captain of the varsity football and lacrosse teams, and performed in stage plays.

"I was his lacrosse coach, and he made the team as a sophomore. He was a good kid, well-mannered and passionate about sports. He was quarterback for the football team and played defense for the lacrosse team," said Jody Martin, a former Gilman athletic director and now men's division director for US Lacrosse. "He was quiet, studious and had a great sense of humor."

At Princeton University, Mr. Miller earned a bachelor's degree in American history in 1995 and as a senior was an All-American player and co-captain on the varsity lacrosse team.

After graduation, he moved to New York City and for five years was an investment analyst for Credit Suisse First Boston. He remained active in lacrosse, holding several positions, including assistant coach for the 1996 National Collegiate Athletic Association playoff team at Hofstra University and several youth lacrosse programs.

In 2000, he moved to San Francisco and took a position with Vista Equity Partners as an investment analyst. While living there, he founded Tiger Camp California, a summer lacrosse camp affiliated with Princeton University's coaching staff.

With the help of a San Francisco friend, Andrew McDonald, Mr. Miller started Lacrosse for Life, a volunteer organization that teaches the sport to youths in needy urban communities. The program also seeks to help the players with goal-setting, discipline and commitment, aimed at helping them toward higher education and successful careers.

Mr. Miller and Mr. McDonald were named "exceptional urban/motivational youth coaches of the year" by US Lacrosse in 2003.

"This was so typical of Josh, how he wanted to give back to the community. He liked kids and wanted to help them," Mr. Martin said.

Mr. Miller remained in contact with the program after moving to Los Angeles in 2002 to pursue an acting and playwriting career. He wrote several plays and acted in others. He also acted in several independent movies.

He had been a member of Second Presbyterian Church in Baltimore and the Screen Actors Guild.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Oxford Town Park on South Morris Street.

Mr. Miller's survivors also include his father, Edwin F. Miller of Oxford; his paternal grandparents, Edith May and Charles Hobart Miller of Ocean City; and his maternal grandmother, Mary M. Taggart of Wickenburg, Ariz.

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