by | Jul 16, 2018 | Obituaries

Virg inia Beach —Richard Irwin Miller, 87, passed away peacefully on June 24, 2018.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he lived most of his life in Norfolk and established deep roots in our community. Dad graduated from Maury High School in 1948, and attended the University of Virginia, 1948–1954, where he participated in the ROTC program as a Jefferson Sabre. He was president of his fraternity, Zeta Beta Tau, for many years. He served our country in the Army as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed in the North Pole as a Platoon Leader for a truck unit re-supplying the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW Line), among other duty stations.

Dad was the general manager of the family-owned business Ocean View Amusement Park in Norfolk and general manager and owner of Seaside Amusement Park in Virginia Beach. He was also the owner of Delmar Propane Gas for many years and a family partner in several trailer parks. He owned and operated Cleveland Street Bingo and others and appreciated the invaluable help from Charlene Bell.

Dad loved going to local sporting events. He supported many of the arts organizations in Hampton Roads, such as Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Pops, Virginia Stage Company, and Virginia International Tattoo, and he served on the statewide board of directors for the Virginia Opera. He proudly performed in three Opera performances as a Supernumerary (group scenes), including this past March with his daughter, Dorianne, in Lucia di Lammermoor. His favorite night of the week was Tuesdays, when he gathered with longtime friends for the past 40 years to play poker. He loved to travel, go to the movies, have breakfast on Sundays at Pocahontas, and you’d better not talk to him while he was watching Fox News!

A born leader, Dad enjoyed his life to the fullest. He never saw an obstacle in his way; he just figured out how to fix the problem and move forward. He was the tower of strength to his extended family, always counted on for his loyalty and passion for his family. He welcomed everyone to our proverbial family table. His sense of humor constantly surprised us and made us laugh. He was the source of all knowledge and blessed all of us with his wisdom and advice. The only subject that could not be discussed peacefully was politics; in fact, he said in the hospital that it could not be his time to go because President Trump was counting on him for his vote.

Dad loved his family and friends with his whole heart. He was a loving father to his three children and their heart-broken families: Dorianne and Dan Villani, Sandi and Jack Levi, and Hank Miller; grandchildren Matthew, Katelyn, Benjamin, Kari Anne, Samantha (Kevin), Cady and Nathan; great-granddaughter Felisa. He is survived as well by his sister, Joan Greta Miller, his ladyfriend (as he called her), Thelma Oser, Wanda Shehe, who he thought of as a daughter, his dear first cousins and many friends, and his treasured grand-dog Mika. Dad was pre-deceased by his first wife and mother of his children, Hallie Cohen Miller and his second wife, Joan Barbara Miller. He was also pre-deceased by his parents, Anne and Ulysses Sam Miller.

Burial took place at Forest Lawn Cemetery, the memorial service and reception followed at Ohef Sholom Temple. Memorial donations to Virginia Opera or The Buddy Brigade Therapy Dog Program at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. Online condolences through

Dad was doing two of the things he loved most before his last minutes: eating ice cream and spending precious time with family. We are all thankful and comforted to be left with the memory of him smiling and joking, with final hand squeezes and hugs, and exchanges of “I love you, sleep tight.”