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James R. Miller

February 5, 1943 - November 13, 2017
Racine, WI

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Hospice

The American Heart Association

Life Story / Obituary


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Jim Miller had a heart that was intensely devoted to his wife, Dali, and to his two young sons, Ika and Gia. Sadly, on Monday, November 13, 2017, at All Saints Hospital, that loving heart failed. He was 74.

James Rohan Miller was the second of four children born to Noel and Katherine Rohan Miller. He arrived on February 5, 1943.

He was lucky. He grew up in comfortable circumstances, in a family that revered education and morality and productivity. His grandparents Miller and Rohan were prominent Racine industrialists, his father, Noel, was a hard-working business engineer. His mother, Katie, helped guide the Taylor Children’s Home, and was, indeed, “a very remarkable woman” (her words).

In Jim’s early life, he awoke daily to the sounds of the waves at the Millers’ rural Kenosha County home, perched 50 feet above the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. He had only to cross Sheridan Road to attend the Berryville Grade School. For secondary school, he boarded at Phillips Andover Academy (MA), and graduated from Lake Forest Academy (IL) in 1962, after which he enthusiastically began studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

But his education was put on “hold” as he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his country in Viet Nam. Assigned to Saigon, with the Department of Defense news service, he served with loyalty, honor and pride. Having completed one 13-month tour of duty in the war zone, instead of seeking the safety of home, he volunteered for a second 13- month tour.

After being released from active duty, he returned to Madison to finish his degree in English. It was not long before he struck out into the vast world to get a sample of EXPERIENCE! And sample, he did. Drove a cab in New York City. Directed news broadcasts from a network affiliate in Madison. Worked on the line and various other jobs at the Racine Industrial Plant while tearing up Racine on his Harley. Started a Racine sailboard shop. At the same time, he also tried using his penchant for the dramatic; he became involved with the Racine Civic Theater. This was life-changing. In an international program, which exchanged entire acting companies, Jim met a pretty young engineer and amateur actress who lived in the former Soviet Georgia. Happily, after a good bit of back-and-forth travel, Dali Khornauli came to the U.S to become his bride. Life settled. A family started. A house. Another house. A long-term, stable job at Warren Industries in Racine.

But the intensity and the heart remained.

Jim’s parents passed on before him, as did his older brother, Chris, and nephew, Jonathan, Jr.

He is survived by his wife, Dali, and sons Irakli (Ika) and Giorgi (Gia), brother, Jonathan (Marianne), and sister, Luisa Camille.

A Memorial Service is planned for a time yet to be determined. The Family is very grateful to friends and to Hospice for their aid, support and comfort. Donations to Hospice, or to The American Heart Association, in Jim’s name will be appreciated.

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