James R Miller was born on January 8, 1925 in OBrien, Haskell County, Texas. He passed away on October 16, 2013 in Houston, Harris County, Texas. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, P.D. and Dora Mae Miller two sisters, Thelma Blanche Grant and Dora Elizabeth Postert and an older brother, Paul David, who was killed in active combat on Corregidor Island, Philippines in 1942.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Dowler Miller. They were married on November 27, 1947. This marriage was blessed by two sons, Steven Paul and Patrick David. They have five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
His family moved to New Mexico soon after his birth. He graduated from Portales High School, Portales, NM in 1942 and attended Eastern New Mexico University for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He was a storekeeper Second Class on the USS LCI G 568. His ship participated in six island invasions in the Pacific the primary ones being Leyte and Luzon in the Philippines and Okinawa where his ship was hit by a Japanese Kamikaze suicide plane. He received the Purple Heart Medal when injured on the Leyte invasion and received his Honorable Discharge on April 30, 1946.
He enrolled in Highlands University, Las Vegas, NM in 1946 where he lettered in football and track setting a new conference high jump record in 1947. Jim met and married Mary Jane while attending Highlands University. He graduated in 1949 Magna Cum Laude with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics and a minor in Business Administration.
Jim and Mary Jane moved to Hobbs, NM where he was employed as a staff accountant with the public accounting firm of Linder, Burke and Stephenson. He received his New Mexico certificate 262 on July 1, 1951. Jim retired 45 years later from the same firm. There were several name changes in the firm name over those 45 years with the last change being in 1973 to Johnson, Miller and Co. which still continues its name and now has offices in Hobbs, Midland and Odessa, TX.
He strongly believed that if you expected to make a living in a community and in a profession that you should give back to both. He diligently tried to do this. He was a member and director in the New Mexico Society of CPAs, a member in the American Institute of CPAs and he was a cofounder and charter President of the Oilfield Society of CPAs. He was appointed to the New Mexico State Board of Public Accountancy by three different Governors and served 12 years on the State Board. Jim was instrumental in establishing a permanent endowment scholarship fund at New Mexico Junior College in memory of C.M. Burke, CPA who conceived the idea of the New Mexico Junior College. Past President and board member of Guidance Center of Lea County, Inc 6yrs past member of Hobbs Chamber of Commerce past director of Hobbs Greater United Way past treasurer of Hobbs Rotary Club 11yrs and a Paul Harris Fellow past treasurer and director of Washington Heights Nursery 15yrs past member and treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the College of the Southwest and received the TRUSTEE OF FREE ENTERPRISE in 1989 past Board Chairman of First United Methodist Church, Hobbs and served on the Finance Committee for many years 40yrs. He was primarily responsible for the establishment of the endowment fund at First United Methodist Church in Hobbs.
Jim was involved in Palmer Drug Abuse Program annual fund drives for several years received the Public Service Award in 1986 by the New Mexico Society of CPAs and was named 1986 Outstanding Citizen of Hobbs by both the Hobbs Jaycees and the Hobbs Chamber of Commerce. He was an optimist who believed his glass was always halffull rather than halfempty. Jim enjoyed golf, handball, walking, reading and working crossword puzzles and always enjoyed making divinity every year at Christmastime.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 7, 2013 at First United Methodist Church. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a gift be made to: First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, 200 E. Snyder, Hobbs, NM 88240 University of the Southwest, 6610 Lovington HighwaySte. 501, Hobbs, NM 88240 or your favorite organization.
Online condolences may be made to www.griffinfuneralhomehobbs.com