Joel Scott Miller, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away on April 8th from complications of cancer. Joel was born in Ely, Nevada to Harold and Vanor (Aldrich) Miller where he attended local schools. Hunting and especially fishing were his favorite pastimes as a young boy. Joel followed his childhood passion and decided to major in Wildlife Biology at Utah State University. While earning his degree he also worked as a student trainee for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Airforce and was stationed in Thailand where he flew as a paramedic on rescue helicopters during the Vietnam War. Upon completion of his service to his country, he returned to work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 40 years. He loved his career whether it was dealing with Big Game in Las Vegas, Nevada or wetlands in the central valley of California. He was assistant manager on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge in Willows California where he managed the Bicentennial Land Heritage Program which afforded the refuge many improvements. He was also instrumental in attaining easements in the central valley adding vast acreage to the beautiful wetlands we see throughout the grasslands surrounding Los Banos California. He was a member of the team that implemented the Central Valley Project Improvement Act and concluded his career as the assistant supervisor for California refuges in Sacramento.
Joel was preceded in death by his younger brother Robert Miller. He is survived by his wife Paula (Carlotti) Miller; sons, Aaron Miller (Veneta) and Derek Miller (Molly); five beautiful grandchildren, Lacey, Sabrina, Kora, Camryn and Zakiah; his older brother Rodney Miller of Palo Alto (Eileen); and several nieces and nephew.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 9:30am on Friday, April 21st, 2017 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos, California followed by burial at the Veterans National Cemetery. A celebration of life and reception will follow at the Veterans Memorial Hall, located at 615 E Street in Los Banos. Services are under the direction of Whitehurst Funeral Chapels~Los Banos.