JUDGE MATHIAS: I call upon Judge Fairbanks who will both present and respond in memory of Judge Ralph Miller.
JUDGE FAIRBANKS: Judge Mathias, members of the court, distinguished guests and friends. This has been a year of great loss to the bench and to the bar and to the public we serve. Judge Miller’s passing on December 8, 1980, represents a not insignificant part of that loss. Ralph Miller was my particular friend and colleague for fourteen years on the bench of two courts and my feelings of professional loss are exceeded only by my sense of personal loss.
Judge Miller was born in Kokomo, Indiana in 1925. He gravitated to the law as a profession quite naturally. His father, Homer R. Miller, was a practicing lawyer, a former prosecutor in Indiana and a senior trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice. His grandfather and great-grandfather were likewise both lawyers. The latter being a county judge in Nebraska as well.
Judge Miller attended George Washington University. He graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Laws Degree, which you now know as Juris Doctor. He was admitted to the Bar of Maryland the same year and until January 1 of 1962 he practiced law in this County with his brothers Jim and Bill and his longtime friend and schoolmate, Robert Romero. On that day he was was sworn in as a Jude of the People’s Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. As most of you will remember, that court was the predecessor of our present District Court. Judge Miller served with great distinction until September 30, 1969, when he took the oath of office as an Associate Judge of this court. Ralph was the first of a succession of judges to reach the Circuit Court from the People’s District Court, the number having recently reached eight.
Judge Miller soon became an outstanding judge of the Circuit Court. His knowledge of the law and his evenhanded conduct of his courtroom quickly earned the respect of the bar as well as his colleagues on the bench. Until the very end he gave one hundred percent of his energy and ability to the discharge of his judicial duties, sometimes under very trying personal circumstances.
Although his professional accomplishments are many and distinguished, it is as a man of great personal courage that he will best be remembered by those who knew him well. His gallant struggle against ill health over much of his life and his unfailing persistence in the performance of his professional responsibilities and obligations in spite of continuing physical discomfort and limitations will not be soon forgotten. This aspect of his life and character will remain a shining example afforded to him in dedication.
Those of us who have had the privilege of serving with him on this bench and on the People’s Court will I am sure always remember his friendly, patient manner and his basic qualities of fairness, industry and integrity.
Ralph was also a compassionate man, and while he could be severe with lawbreakers when the occasion warranted he was always ready to listen with sympathy and understanding and to extend a helping hand to those he believed truly deserved support in their time of trouble.
A man without a sense of humor is likely to be an unhappy man and by that standard Ralph was one of the happiest men, for he had a delightful sense of humor and throughly appreciated the humorous occasions which occurred from time to time in the course of his judicial duties.
Lastly, Ralph was a devoted family man, proud of his lovely wife, Ruth, whom he married in May, 1950, and their two fine children, Jim and Robin. He took real pleasure in the growth and progress of not only his own family but that of his brothers and his friends as well.
While Judge Miller will be sorely missed on this bench and as a member of the legal community, those of us who were his friends will feel a greater sense of loss from the passing of a really good man in every sense of the word.
On behalf of the members of this court I extend to his family our sincerest personal sympathy.
JUDGE MATHIAS: Thank you, Judge Fairbanks.
The remarks in memory of Judge Miller will be spread upon the permanent Minutes of this court.