Miller named to Senior Hall of Fame


(Posted May 15, 2017)

Jerry Miller has made a big difference in Madison County, and for his efforts, he will be inducted into the Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame on May 17 at the Martin Janis Center in Columbus.

Miller’s fellow members of the Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails nominated him for induction and note that while Miller is over 70 years old and has physical pain, he still gives cheerfully and energetically to others. As his nomination states, Miller is an inspiring example and deserving of recognition.

Miller had a tough start in life. He was placed in foster care at the age of 3 years old when his parents separated.  He lived with several foster families and changed schools 13 times before graduating from high school in Morgan County.  Miller then moved to Columbus, found a job and joined the National Guard. He married his high school sweetheart and ran a construction company until he decided to open his own company.

After retiring due to a debilitating ankle injury, Miller started looking for volunteer work. He heard that the Friends of the Madison County Parks and Trails was trying to acquire space in a building that needed repairs. Using his building experience, Miller gave the building a thorough review and a checklist of repairs to be considered. The board soon realized Miller was a leader and a doer, so they nominated him to the board of directors in 2010 where he currently remains.

Miller has worked with high school and church volunteers to clear brush, cut trees and remove invasive species near the trail. He uses his personal tractor, trucks and trailer to maintain the multi-purpose trail and the Little Darby Preserve for the Madison County Park District.

Miller is often found working along the trail or in nature preserves. Wherever a trail section has been freshly maintained, one can be assured that Miller must have been out working again. After noticing tree root damage along the asphalt trail, he engineered and helped to build a “root ripper” machine to cut roots along the trail before they can become a problem. He has shared his invention with other trail groups and park districts with no desire for personal compensation.

When a camping area was needed along the Ohio to Erie Trail, Miller was there to help clear brush, use his equipment to level the land, build tent platforms and plant grass. Trail users from as far away as South Korea, the United Kingdom and Australia have camped there, and all have been thankful for the safe, convenient, friendly location.

Miller’s shows that at any age, even with medical issues, one can express kindness and generosity in a manner that motivates others to do more. Those that work with Miller know he is a man you can count on. He is someone that you can give a job to and forget about it because it is as good as done.

Miller’s leadership style is recognized by many. He does not act as a one-man show. He does not insist on his way but instead offers ideas and is quick to recognize others if they have better ideas. Miller looks for solutions and his “don’t give up” attitude has a positive effect on others. He is an outstanding role model for active involvement in the community.

The Central Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging. All winners are 60 years of age or older. Miller is one of 14 honorees this year. Others hail from Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Licking, Pickaway and Union counties.



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