David Wadsworth Miller
David Wadsworth Miller
I write with joy that my father David Wadsworth Miller age 101 has joined my mother to continue their journey together. Dad died peacefully October 21, 2022 in DeLand where he lived for 67 years.
David was born in Baltimore MD December 26, 1920 and grew up in Utica NY. He moved to St Petersburg FL and attended St Pete High and continued his education at University of Florida graduating with an accounting degree. He became a CPA and worked as the auditor for the Borden Dairy Company in Tampa FL where he met the love of his life Margarett Ragsdale. They married January 27, 1945.
They moved to Deland with their one-year-old (Anne) in 1955 where David taught accounting at Stetson University while he opened the first CPA office in town. He continued teaching for ten years until the practice became too demanding and he left to devote his full attention to the office. Margarett was his office manager and they worked together until their retirement. They were married for 72 years.
David was very active in the community serving in many clubs and various roles at First Presbyterian Church. He was active in Tampa in community theater and continued in Deland with the Shoestring Theatre. He built sets, performed and became treasurer when the original theater was at the Deland airport in a Quonset hut. He was instrumental in the move to the present location in Lake Helen where he continued to act, direct, build sets and perform the office of treasurer for over 40 years.
David and Margarett loved to travel and shared this passion with their daughter Anne Miller Sollien and granddaughter Jennifer Lynn Weeks. Living with Dad was like having a walking and talking Encyclopedia Britannica on hand. (Young folks can look up what that was!) He read the comics every day and taught me every corny joke I know. He told “Dad” jokes before they had a name! My first joke learned at the knee of the master was; “What did the cat get when it crossed the desert? Sandy Claws!” We had a whole vaudeville routine which of course he passed on to his granddaughter Jen.
He was brilliant, kind, funny, supportive, generous, loyal, and honest. His integrity made him a highly respected professional in the accounting world. His ability to always see both sides made him a good negotiator. Many people attribute their success to him because he made them believe in themselves. Although he stopped teaching at Stetson in the 1960s, he continued to inspire people all his life to be better through his example. When you worked for David Miller, you were not an employee you were family.
He lived an amazing life watching the world change around him in unimaginable ways. From seeing barnstormers as a child to watching men walk on the moon. He lived through the development of electricity, telephones, steam trains to diesel trains, jets, helicopters, street cars, automobiles, televisions, calculators, computers, and the internet. I did ask him what was the biggest technological development in his opinion and his response was “The smart phone, because having the ability to communicate and connect with so much information brought advantages (and dangers) to all of us.”
Yet, with all the good and bad history he lived over his 101 years, he was always a positive and optimistic voice. He enjoyed his profession and practiced it with passion and integrity. He enjoyed getting to know a variety of people from all walks of life and from all over the world. But most of all he loved his family and friends and laughter. He will be missed but remembered with gratitude for being a wonderful part of so many lives.
Dad is survived by his daughter Anne Miller Sollien, Son-in-law Robert Sollien, granddaughter Jennifer Weeks and too many wonderful friends, nieces, and nephews to name.
There will be a celebration of his life Sunday, November 13th, 2:00 pm at the Shoestring Theatre, 380 S Goodwin St, Lake Helen, FL. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Shoestring Theatre, a place that gave him and many others so much joy.