Life of Paul Miller celebrated in Edwards
Paul Gilbert Swayne Miller was remembered fondly for his contributions to his family, his work, his many friendships and the local recreation community on Friday.
The celebration of life took place near the Miller home in Edwards, which in itself was a celebration of Miller’s work as an architect.
Even Pastor Scott Leonard, in helping Miller wrestle with questions of life and death last month, said he couldn’t wait to see the home where Miller stored his many surfboards, skateboards, snowboards and dirt bikes.
“I wanted to see this garage that I had heard about,” Leonard said.
Miller’s passion for sports was exemplified through his children, who excelled in sports, as well, with Paul’s daughter Sienna a goalie for the University of Mount Olive Lacrosse team, and son Windham, whose snowboarding film parts are frequently shared by top publications.
In a letter to her father, Sienna said she learned the meaning of love through her parents 27 years of marriage.
“I am so beyond blessed to be raised by the two of you,” Sienna said to Paul, in spirit, and Mary, gathered among a standing room only audience “Because of your integrity and good nature, you have brought together hundreds of amazing friends, who love you so dearly.”
Bringing people together was one of Paul Miller’s many talents, as exemplified by his work in creating the Dry Lake Motocross Park in Gypsum. Miller worked on bringing a motocross park to Eagle County for 20 years, and seeing it through was an accomplishment celebrated by many on Friday.
Paul Miller served on the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Sport Riders and club member Spencer Ball, as a testament to the value Miller placed on bringing people together, shared the example of the Dry Lake Motocross Park pee-wee track being dedicated to Miller last fall.
“Club President Joe O’Malley asked Paul if he had any quotes that he’d like to put on the sign for the pee-wee track,” Ball said. “He provided the following from King Felipe VI of Spain: ‘Sincere and generous collaboration is the best way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of each person and achieve great collective goals for the common good and the general interest.’
“This speaks to Paul’s selfless spirit,” Ball added. “Working toward a common goal to benefit others.”
Thousands of volunteer hours
Ball said he did some quick calculations to try to make an estimated guess as to how many volunteer hours Miller had put into local dirt biking efforts in Eagle County.
“I came up with around 4,000 hours,” Ball said. “And there may be another 4,000 to 10,000 hours of just riding around on his dirt bike too.”
Many of those hours were spent riding with Windham and Sienna, who said those sessions were filled with constant encouragement to get back on their dirt bikes when they crashed.
“All the broken bikes, all the broken skateboards, I always had something to ride,” Windham said.
Through Miller’s relentless support of his friends and family, those close to him can carry on his legacy by helping people around them, said Miller’s friend Jim Skidmore.
“Find ways in your own life to offer unconditional support without judgement to people who need it,” Skidmore said.
“Very recently, (Paul Miller) was asked if he would do anything differently,” Skidmore added. “He responded immediately: ‘I’ve lived a life with no regrets.'”