John Charles Miller, 96, passed away at night on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 at the Park Creek Place Memory Care Community near Philadelphia. Born in Fort Collins, CO, he was the son of Mark and Effie Miller. Growing up, he worked in his parents' photographic studio in Fort Collins. He served in WWII as a private in the 414th regiment of the 104th infantry division through much of the European campaign. After the war he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology to study photography, where he met his wife Elizabeth (Betty) Groff.
Moving to New Holland, PA, in 1952, they established the Miller Studio which continued in operation until around 1990. John designed and supervised the construction of their home and studio on Conestoga Street. John and Betty were very active in scouting, with John acting as scoutmaster for Troop 137 for many years and developing campground "Noodle Ducey" near Morgantown. At the same time, they directed the St. Stephen's junior Sunday school class and organized summer retreats. In the 1970's they were the hosts to a non-denominational Christian fellowship "Koinonia" that met in their home. John and Betty had very strong commitments to international missions, supporting children through Compassion International, and giving much of their time and effort to supporting refugee families from Vietnam. John also spent much time constructing and remodeling facilities at the Stauffer Homestead Farm in Goodville belonging to Betty's parents, Edna and A.B.C. Groff, taking over farm management from 1968 through 1986. John and Betty created Groff Memorial Park and donated it to the Borough of New Holland in remembrance of Edna and A.B.C. Groff. After Betty's death, John married Doris H. Lowry in 2004, who predeceased him in 2010.
John is survived by: his sister, Beth Schieck, 100, of Cheyenne, WY; his sons, Charles D. and Keith B. Miller; three grandchildren, Ari A. Miller, Kelilah A. Miller, and Ian D. Miller; and four great grandchildren, Matilda, Micah, Ezra and Gabriel.
A funeral service will be held at St. Stephen's Church in New Holland on Thursday, January 2. Visitation will begin at 1:00pm, with the Memorial Service at 2:00pm followed by interment in the St. Stephen's Cemetery. A fellowship meal will be provided beginning around 3:30pm with time for sharing memories. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Groff Memorial Park, c/o Security National Trust Company, Lancaster, PA. To send an online condolence to the family, visit www.GroffEckenroth.com. Arrangements by the Groff High Funeral Home, New Holland, PA.