Remembering Dr. Miller

Our dear obstetrician, and friend, Dr. F. Clifton Miller died in an automobile accident last night, as he rushed to Jones Memorial Hospital for yet another emergency.  He died as he had lived: serving others.  I can’t imagine that we could have ever found a better guide through the incredible adventure of childbirth.

When we discovered we were unexpectedly expecting a few months after our wedding, my wife and I were thrilled and terrified, and so happy to have found Dr. Miller.  When we found ourselves back in his office–in trouble at nine weeks–dear Dr. Miller had tears in his eyes as he told us the news that our pregnancy had ended. He seemed as joyful as we were when we were back again a year, later expecting our son.  We loved our visits with him; his kind and gentle spirit shined through in every appointment.  Despite his hectic schedule, he never made us feel rushed. He would lean back against the counter top to chat and tell stories and laugh with us.  Once, when my wife asked if she was gaining too much weight, he grinned sheepishly and said, “For better or worse, you’ve ended up with an obstetrician who is not likely to fuss about your weight.”  He and his nurses whimsically alternated between”Snoopy” “Scooby Doo” and “Winnie the Pooh” days in which his ties and their smocks all matched. His office had a monstrously big aquarium which always enchanted our children.

Once, some Amish friends of ours (who typically have childbirth at home) ran into some serious complications and had to go to Jones Memorial to have the baby delivered (safely) by Dr. Miller.  Knowing they lacked any health insurance he charged nothing for his services saying, “Just make me a quilt sometime.”

All through the years, he helped us navigate fevers, injuries, questions, concerns, immunizations and health scares.  We always felt completely safe putting our kids in his capable hands. Our national health care is in crisis: high prices, HMOs, malpractice, greedy insurance and pharmaceutical companies.  But in that world there are still Dr. Millers: the quintessential small-town, country doctor who genuinely put patients first. Twenty-three years have passed since our first appointment and just last night my wife and I were talking on the phone and said–as we have countless times in the past two decades–“We’ll have to call Dr. Miller and ask him about that,” not knowing he was already gone. Even as our first two kids have aged out on seeing him as their pediatrician, he still delighted in visiting with us and hearing what the whole family is up to. I cannot believe that we will never have one of those jovial appointments with him again.  And yet I will be forever grateful that when my precious children entered this world, the first thing they saw was the smiling face and the merry, twinkling eyes of Dr. F. Clifton Miller.  There’s surely a special place in heaven for you.

Published by timnichols

First and foremost, I’m a dad. After that, by day I am a professor of Education at Alfred University, by night I'm a dog lover, a cancer survivor, and a daydreamer. Here are some thoughts and lessons learned from my journey…

51 thoughts on “Remembering Dr. Miller

  1. So sorry to see he’s passed. He saw me as a child, and although we live out of state when one of our kids (who he’d never seen before) got sick on a journey north he didn’t even hesitate to squeeze us in on a same day appointment. Wonderful man, he will be missed.

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  2. What an amazing Doctor. I had just moved in the area and was looking for a good ob/gyn and pediatrician . My sister had just got done doing her internship with jones memorial and worked beside dr. Miller. So she told me I should go to him. He delivered two of my daughters. One thing I remember about that day was the minute they came into the world doc would smile and give them a kiss before he gave them to the nurse. Such a gentle and caring man. He had a heart filled with love. I always enjoyed how he’d have to get caught up on my family and all 4 kids. He’d even ask about my ex off and on.

    We now live in Pennsylvania and was having a hard time finding someone to replace such a great Doctor. I did find a good pediatric and took the two girls. As we were leaving Hannah said ” I miss Doctor Miller, he was the best” 🙂!!!!

    I’d like to take this time and thank the miller family for sharing him with all of us. Your family is in our prayers.

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  3. I would like to say what a great loss ! And on the other hand thank you for taking great care of my wife ! For saving her from cancer to being there for my three miracles that you watch from inside to they meet you ! And taking extra care of my little boy who really needed you ! They are all doing great and that little guy is just getting big ! From letting my wife lay down in your office in the hospital because all the beds were full ! Waiting there until you travel all the way back from Vermont after just getting there because we needed you !! To always talking and laugh with me as I joked ! We seen you dress nice to me saying to my wife hey he didn’t even brush his hair ! There are so many stories and so many times we heard come back in a week !! There will never be anyone as caring as you !! We will truly miss you !! Everyone you have every come in contact with will remember and miss you !! To Dr Miller wife and kids you had one great man to live and grow up with !! Rip Dr Miller !! Thanks for everything !! Love the Jimerson Family of Salamanca !!

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  4. Dr. Miller will be missed greatly by my family. He was the ddoctir who delivered me 27 years ago, and he was the doctor I was seeing during my current pregnancy. Expected to deliver my son in less than a week. I’ve grown to know and appreciate Dr. Miller over the last 9 months he has been looking over my ppregnancy. We’ve had many ups and downs with this baby and yet, he always seemed to maintain my sanity through it all. He was a great doctor. Its a shame he won’t be here to greet my son into this world this week as he did me 27 almost 28 years ago. Rest easy Dr. Miller. You will forever be in my thoughts. So many prayers to his family. I’m so sorry for your tremendous loss.

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  5. Best memory of dr Miller was when I was having my first child excited I was and he was just as excited for us when I was 9 months pregnant we lost our little girl the cord got wrapped around her neck when he told me to go to the hospital and wait for ultrasound when we got the ultrasound the tech didn’t say anything she just remained quiet till miller got there when he arrived he had told us what happened I immediately started crying it was the worst day of my life but to my surprise Miller was the one who was on the bed with me holding me and crying himself cause he knew how we were feeling what I didn’t know at the time was Miller had cleared the rest of his schedule so that he could stay with me and he did the rest of the day delivered my daughter that night and was there right till the point of my discharge.
    I couldn’t have found a more excited dr when I showed back up in his office to tell him hey I think I’m pregnant again!!! And with my son and my second dr he went all out ultrasounds all the time stress tests he even went to the point to tell me if you don’t feel the baby’s move just call and come right in and I was very paranoid expected mother I put his words to the test I was in his office at least once a week and he never once made me feel like I was being a pain in the ass he kept his word and delivered my other two beautiful healthy babies
    I will miss him a great deal we will never get a dr like him again
    Prayers to his family

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      1. He did make us all feel very special and he was very,VERY special to so many. Dr. Miller was an exceptional Man, my appointment was on the day he cut part of his finger off at his workshop, i couldnt believe he still came in to take care of us that day. He was such a patient, loving and caring person.as I read what others said I smiled and cried things I had forgotton was remembered.
        Dr. Miller was a genuinely sincere person and will be dearly missed by so many.it saddens my heart that he is gone and my heart goes out to his family and close friends, God Bless you all.
        We on earth lost a great man, but Heaven gained a great spirit, God Bless you Dr. Miller.

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  6. Dr. Miller saved Tobias’s life twice. When he was first born, with the cord wrapped around his neck body and legs, then again 7 days later when he stopped breathing. He kept him going until he could be shipped out to children’s.

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  7. He saved the life of my son…years later he helped my son and daughter-in-law have my first grandson. He was an amazingly kind,special man and will be missed. I will be forever grateful to Dr.Miller.

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  8. All of these tributes from you are overwhelming me with gratitude that we all got to have this dear man in our lives. Isn’t it amazing? I’m realizing that he made ALL of his patients feel as if we were his favorite. God bless him.

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  9. This was such a nice article. Thank you for sharing! He was an amazing man and has touched/saved so many lives. He is my uncle. I will never forget when I was little he called me Dianna Jr. I am named after his wife Dianna. I know he is smiling down upon all those he touched knowing how loved he was. He truly will be missed!

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  10. In 1987 our nine year old son was hit by a truck and Dr Miller worked in the ER to stabilize him so he could be mercy flighted to Children’s. He came to the waiting room, put his arm around me, and told me straight out that he probably wouldn’t make it, and how sorry he was. All the time, he had tears in his eyes. Our son passed that night, but I know Dr Miller gave him his all!! I will never forget him for trying to save my son! Dr Miller, When you get to Heaven, say Hi to him for me!

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  11. I have had a lump in my throat all day after hearing of the loss of Dr. Miller. He was a compassionate, patient, smart, caring, wonderful angel God sent to us to take care of his children. I feel blessed that he delivered my children. He was our doctor for 20 years. Thank you Lord, for the time we had with him. He took care of our babies, wiped our tears, eased our minds and will always hold a special place in all of our hearts.

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  12. A wonderful man who happened to be a Doctor, but just not any Doctor. If he was your Doctor, you were his only patient. He took all the time needed to reassure a first time mother that the birth of your baby would be the most important event in not only your life but his. Every child that he brought into this world first saw his twinkling eyes and kind smile befor the child was introduced to his mother. His kind words and calm demeanor instilled a peace in the delivery room for the arrival of God’ s most precious gift. So go, kind Doctor Miller where those babies ascended from and rest in the glory of God. You will be missed in this world, you will be eternally the Good Doctor.

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  13. I will always remember Dr. Miller for delivering my oldest girl. Now 13 years later and I still remember the day I gave birth to her. You will definitely be missed dearly. RIP Dr. Miller

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  14. Dr. Miller has been my doctor for years and always lectured me about my mammograms but never pushed me, just lectured. He delivered my son 30 years ago and was with me all the time since he had been a C-section. He told me exactly what was going on and even held my hand a time or two. He was a very special man and doctor and will truly be missed in the community. God Bless him and prayers for his family in this tragic loss. RIP Dr. Miller ❤

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  15. My encounters with Dr Miller were few. He assisted his daughter in delivering my first child via c-section. There wasn’t even any introduction. When it came time to deliver my son I was nervous after not having had the best time after the first go round. He was unable to assist with that delivery as he was assisting someone else. He did however handle my son’s care afterward and because Dr Lanphere had to go away for a couple days he also took care of me. I was a little apprehensive as I had only ever had care from his daughter. After my son’s circumcision I changed his diaper and he started bleeding badly. It was about 3am. I called the nurse and she instantly took my son from me. All I could do was cry and apologize as I had thought I hurt my son. Dr, Miller was there in record time and was helping my baby. I stood outside the window to the nursery sobbing, feeling so helpless. I noticed despite my panic how calm and confident Dr. Miller was during this time. I eventually made my way back to my room as I wasn’t helping anything. Dr. Miller came in as soon as he was finished and I started crying and apologizing. He said to me , “It’s nothing you did.This just happens sometimes. I have done hundreds of these. Its not the worst I have seen and I have seen some pretty bad ones. Your son will be ok.” I felt so much better. He was so kind to me the entire time. I felt completely at ease in his care and with entrusting him with the care of my son. He was greatly respected and will be sorely missed by all those who he touched. My deepest condolences go out to his family!

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  16. Dr Miller was the best dr there was!!! I couldn’t have asked for a better person to deliver my daughter n care for my son as well. He will surely be missed!!!! He has had an impact on all his patients and the staff at jones hospital that will never be forgotten!!!! His legacy will live on.

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  17. I was pregnant with my only daughter 23 years ago when I first met Dr. Miller! I actually haven’t seen him since Darienne was very young but I have never forgotten him. We moved away from the area. I actually think that I hold any other doctor to his standard. He was wonderful and I loved reading your tribute to him.

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  18. I remember being new to the area and needing to find a local Doctor because I was tired of traveling back and forth to Buffalo. I can’t tell you exactly what brought my family to Dr. Miller’s office, but boy am I glad that I went. He was awesome with the kids, and just let them be kids. I say that last part, as my older son was always so big for his age, always off the charts both in weight and height. Dr. Miller never tried to combat that issue, he never gave me grief for it. When he delivered my younger son, he had already been at the hospital for many hours, I believe it was almost a full day, delivering 2 sets of twins, and 4 more babies before I came in. Even though I could have waited, as I was two weeks early and not as much in labor as I probably should have been, he saw how uncomfortable I was and decided to break my water. Instead of shooing me away he helped me, and brought me comfort and my beautiful younger son into the world. He was awesome with the kids. Always made getting the dreaded shots a lot easier. And like everyone else, he never made me feel like my concerns were unnecessary. He would talk everything out with you and try to come up with the best plan of defense to solve the issue. For ten years he took the best care of my children and I am grateful for that. When I got wind of his retirement, it saddened me that I would have to find a replacement. Sending prayers out to his family.

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  19. As a local EMT, I had the privilege of being in the birthing room when Dr. Miller delivered a baby. Afterward, I had the 2nd privilege of riding in the elevator with him as he rejoiced and reveled in the joy that we had just been blessed to be a part of. Dr. Miller was a man whose heart was in his work- obviously ALL his heart! Praying tonight for his family and friends and patients.

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  20. The Best of The Best
    That’s what Dr. Miller was (is)!!!!!
    He will be greatly missed here on earth but he’s back home with His Heavenly Fathers and will be a great joy to ones who went home before him.
    What a Blessing!
    Thank you Doc for all your out pouring love and affection to all the lives you’ve touched.

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  21. Dr.miller was an awesome dr.he delivered me and he also delivered my sons….I got pregnant in 1995 and I had an ultrasound done and I could not figure out why my husband could not come in it kept asking is the baby all right and the lady said if there is something wrong dr.miller will call…well he did call it was on a Saturday and he wanted us to come in so he could talk to us…I had to go to children’s hospital and he said if we needed a ride he would take us up there…and a couple of days we had to go back to see him to go over test results and we decided to terminate the pregnancy..and he was right by our side the whole time ..and after I delivered he was crying and he sat on my bed helping us get through this..also the little things he would do…like telling the kids there was a cat in their ear.and sitting on the edge of the bed watching football pretty season..dr.miller will be missed by many..my condolence goes out to the miller family

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  22. Rip Dr.Miller you were truly the reason my husband and I was able to have our three beautiful children Thank you so much gone but never forgotten to the miller family may God be with you in your time of need and always Dr Miller you still are one Amazing Man thank you again The Jones Family Clarksville Tn

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  23. Wow I am so sad by this I feel for the Family such a incredible man.I remember When I went to him for a Pregnant Appointment only to find out it had failed we had no heart beat.The loss was so hard but to see the compassion in his face and the tears in his eyes…was so warming to know he cared so much.To take care of things the next morning I had to be admitted very early first at Lab for blood work.And the shock on my face when I walked in and who is standing there but Dr.miller. Stood by me through the whole thing and then.It all happened and to have him there meant so Much to my husband and I(Ex-husband now). God Bless the whole family…Fly High

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  24. Dr. Miller saved my life as a two day old baby. He quickly and accurately diagnosed me with spinal meningitis and worked tirelessly to save me. I live every day knowing he’s the reason I’m alive.

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  25. Dr Miller delivered me 37 years ago, and was there to save my leg when I had a very adverse reaction to an immunization. He was there with me through a miscarriage, supportive and never rushed me, letting me ask all that I needed to before my surgery. The most amazing kind hearted man in the whole world, God truly has an angel. Thoughts and prayers to his amazing family for sharing such an incredible man with the world!

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  26. Dr Miller helped me thru a miscarriage and the delivery of both my teenage girls. When we found out I miscarried he was so sad n cried with us. He made sure my next two pregnancies went smooth and we had two healthy babies. Dr Miller will truly be missed by everyone. RIP Dr Miller

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  27. Dr miller was great took care of me when other docs were judgemental cause I was only 17 he always had a smile on his face what I remeber the most is his hands thay were huge I mean realy big but touched so gentle I remeber the size of those hands holsing my daughter it was amazing I remeber I asked how meny ppl were aloud in the delivery room he told me I could have the whole circus in there if I fwlt the need but might want to leace the elephant in the waiting room he was great at calming the nerves you will be missed

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  28. I had the distinct honor of seeing Dr. Miller through the eyes of a nurse and a patient. I made rounds with him as many of his patients were admitted to the area at Jones for which I had charge. I remember his infectious smile and robust laugh. I remember the wink I’d get when he arrived for rounds and I had his coffee ready and charts available for his review. I remember the “squeaky mouse and kitty noises” he made as he placed his stethoscope against a toddler’s chest to ease their fear. I have seen him calm the ER in the midst of crisis. I never saw him grumpy…and I saw lots of grumpies over the years. He was simply incredible. He will be long missed by this nurse and the community he served!

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    1. What a wonderful blessing you had to work with him, Louise! I’m sure we must have encountered you over the years. I’ve been going to his office every year since 1992. So sorry for your loss. Dr. Miller’s nurses were always wonderful with us as well.

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  29. So Heartbreaking! Dr. Miller delivered my youngest son almost 19 years ago. While I was pregnant with him, I had to be hospitalized twice for dehydration so when I said I want my tubes tied, he smiled and said I’m not even going to give you my spiel. You have been through enough, we will just do it when you have the baby. He was my two older children’s pediatrition and when my daughter had a bad ear infection, he said bring her to the ER and have them page me. Never make her wait until office hours. I never did see a bill for him seeing her. Last night I looked at the picture of him holding my son after he was born. The look of love on his face when he looked at his babies was priceless. He loved every child he brought into this world

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