1916 – 2012
Paul F. Miller, longtime resident of La Crescenta, made his transition at 2 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 while in the VA Hospital in West Los Angeles. Paul was 96 years old and had lived a long and independent life with many accomplishments.
Paul was born in Hamilton, Ohio in 1916, the son of Paul H. and Anna C. Gross Miller. He was educated in Saint Peter in Chains Catholic School in Hamilton Ohio across the street from their 418 Ridgelawn Ave. home. He later studied aviation mechanics in California before reporting for duty in WW II.
In the Army Air Corp. in 1942, Paul became a six stripe sergeant and coordinated a crew that kept the P38 planes aloft. Many times bullets pierced the fuselage and engines during their “on-the-deck” photo runs over enemy territory. Paul also saw duty in the invasion as the allies took back Europe from the Germans and supported P38 reconnaissance aircraft.
After the war, in 1947 he and his wife Joy bought a new lot on Henrietta Avenue in La Crescenta and had a home built for the family. Joy would walk a couple of blocks on a dirt paved Pennsylvania Avenue to fetch mail with the babies in strollers or wagons and the cat Cheetah following behind amid cool sycamore trees along the washed gully. Later the family moved one block to their new home on Frances Avenue.
Paul F. Miller was a founding member of Saint James The Less Catholic Church for many years as they began the new church for the area in the 1950s. His three sons Greg, Keith and Kristopher attended St. James Elementary School for eight years each.
Paul was an avid car collector and restorer and had a number of high-point cars that he and his wife Joy exhibited over the years (until her passing in 1995). His cars were of such fine detail and quality that he even sold one – a shining chocolate 1932 Chevrolet Phaeton – to the Merle Norman, San Sylmar automobile museum in San Fernando.
Paul earned top awards in a number of car shows and took pleasure in taking the highest honor away from “those rich guys” who paid to have their cars restored rather than doing the work themselves. Invited to Pebble Beach, he and Joy prepared period costumes to enhance these activities through which he developed a reputation for near 100-point cars.
Paul enjoyed showing others how to fabricate parts for the antique automobiles and had detailed illustration displays with the parts in varying stages. His remaining cars – a 1930 Chrysler Model 60 roadster, a 1941 Chevrolet 4-door sedan and a 1964 Chevy Malibu – still reflect his superlative skills.
He spent many years in the aerospace industry. His sons followed in his footsteps – Greg as an environmental engineer, Keith as a test engineer and Kristopher as a quality assurance engineer. The sons took pride in their father’s military and work career.
He is survived by a loving family including his three sons, three granddaughters, and seven great-grandchildren. Son Keith Miller sums it all up: I Had A Dad, His Name Was Paul F. Miller.
Memorial to be announced.
Please visit www.CrippenMortuary.com to view a tribute and sign the guestbook or light a memorial candle for Paul Miller.