Miller

WHEELING -- The Ohio County Bar Association has adopted a resolution to honor a former state Supreme Court chief justice who recently died.

Thomas B. Miller, who died Aug. 12 at his home in Wheeling, was the subject of a four-page resolution unanimously adopted at a special meeting on Aug. 26.

Miller was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 4, 1929, to Clarence E. and Helen Burk Miller and a stepmother, Laura B. Miller.

He graduated from high school in Staunton, Va., in 1946, then went on to attend the University of Virginia, according to the resolution.

In college, he was a member of the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps, the resolution states.

After he graduated in 1950, he became an ensign in the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the U.S.S. Leyte Gulf, an aircraft carrier that served in the seventh fleet of Korea during the Korean War.

He was honorably discharged as Lieutenant in 1953 and proceeded to enroll in West Virginia University's College of Law, where he was a member of the law review, according to the resolution.

He earned his law degree in 1946, it states.

He practiced law for 20 years with Schrader, Miller, Stamp and Recht before he was elected to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals in 1976. He was reelected in 1988 and served as chief justice in 1982, 1986 and 1990, the resolution states.

He retired from the court in 1994 and returned as special counsel to his former law firm, now known as Schrader, Byrd, and Companion, according to the resolution.

He was a member of the West Virginia State Bar, the West Virginia Bar Association, the America Bar Association and National Arbitration and Mediation Association.

He was also a member of the Christ United Methodist Church in Wheeling.

Miller received a number of legal awards throughout his tenure on court. Some of the most notable include his 1999 election as a fellow of the West Virginia State Bar foundation, Inc.

On May 1, 1988, he received the Margaret Baldwin Friend of Education award by The West Virginia Education Association for his opinions relating to public education. In February 1993, he received he "War Horse Award" presented by The Southern Trial Lawyers Association to those who have 30 or more years in the legal profession and have made extraordinary contribution to the Trial Bar of the Nation.

He received the distinguished West Virginian Award for Outstanding Achievement and Meritorious Service by Gov. Gaston Caperton, the resolution states.

In May 1995, Miller received The Justitia Officium Award, which is the highest award given by the West Virginia College of Law for excellence in the field. In 2004, he was inducted into the Wheeling Hall of Fame.

The Spring 1995 edition of the West Virginia Law Review, featured a statement by former Clerk of the Supreme Court, Ancil G. Ramey, in honor of Miller. Ramey said, "Justice Miller was well-suited to the work of an Appellate Judge, scholarly, intelligent, compassionate, fair-minded, even-tempered, modest, self-deprecating and industrious are all adjectives that describe him."

Miller was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robert P. Miller.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Vaughn Nolte Miller and his four sons.

A copy of the resolution will be delivered to Miller's family.

The resolution was filed in the Northern District Court of West Virginia on Sept. 2.

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