Edward M. "Mike" Miller, a decorated Vietnam War veteran who later worked in real estate sales and was a flea market manager, died Feb. 14 of a brain tumor at his Fallston home. He was 62.
The son of a clothing cutter and a homemaker, Mr. Miller was born and raised in East Baltimore. He graduated in 1968 from Northern High School and was drafted into the Army the next year.
Mr. Miller served as a radioman with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam.
"He was with a small group, and they thought the enemy was a small group at the top of a hill. Actually, rather than being a small force, it was quite large," said a brother, David B. Miller of Fells Point.
"They surrounded the American soldiers. … In order to call for support, he had to stand up and hold the radio, which exposed him to fire," his brother said.
For his bravery, Mr. Miller was decorated with the Bronze Star and two Air Medals.
David Miller recalled the day the family received a telegram from the U.S. Defense Department informing them that his brother had been wounded by friendly fire.
"Then he started getting get-well cards and packages, and [Mr. Miller] went to his commanding officer to see what was going on. It turned out to be a clerical error," his brother said.
Mr. Miller spent his last year in the service as a drill sergeant and was discharged in 1971. He returned to Baltimore and went to work at the old Haas Tailoring Co. and later the Howard Uniform Co. as a clothing cutter.
He earned his real estate license and worked for his brother, who owned J.D. Miller Real Estate Sales. For the past 20 years, he had been a manager of the Plaza Flea Market in North Point, which is owned by another brother.
Mr. Miller enjoyed entertaining family and friends with meals he prepared on his charcoal grill.
"He certainly enjoyed his role as chef and bartender. He never left the grill until everyone was fed," another brother, Jerry Miller of Fallston, said in his eulogy.
Mr. Miller was an avid Baltimore Colts, Orioles and Ravens fan.
"He was such a great guy and always had a big smile," said David B. Miller.
"He served his country proudly and was rewarded with exposure to Agent Orange. He suffered with four cancers, two of which the Veterans Administration associated with Agent Orange," he said. "And he never complained."
Services were Feb. 18 at Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Fallston.
Also surviving are his wife of 40 years, the former Linda Baer; three sons, Michael Miller of Rising Sun, Matthew Miller of Gloucester, Va., and Dennis Miller of Ocean View, Del.; two daughters, Tracey Bagwell of Parkville and Jennifer Miller of Darlington; another brother, Alan Miller of Bel Air; two sisters, Tina Walls and Cindy Miller, both of Bel Air; and 11 grandchildren.