Dr. Frank B. Miller, MD, was born May 17, 1944, in North Vernon, IN, and entered into eternal life with his Heavenly Father on December 23, 2017.
Along with his parents, Don and Mary Hope Miller, he was preceded in death by his sister-in-law, Judy Miller.
He is survived by his lifelong partner, Pat Hunt, whose love, support and care remained constant; by 10 brothers and sisters, Ann Brooks (Larry, MD), Bloomington, IN, Patty Miller, Donnie J. Miller, Bernard Miller (Sharon), Mary Jane Miller, David Miller and Paul Miller (Lonnie), all of North Vernon, IN; John “Spider” Miller (Kathy), Bloomington, IN, Teresa Brown (Danny), Columbus, IN, and Steve Miller (Candy), Niceville, Florida. Also surviving are 28 nieces and nephews and 31 great-nieces and great- nephews.
Left to cherish his memory are a multitude of medical doctors and medical staff colleagues throughout the USA and around the world, and his dear friends who regularly played golf with him.
After earning an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Indiana University, (Bloomington, IN), he continued his studies by earning a Doctorate of Medicine through the IU School of Medicine. Thereafter, he served his country in the U.S. Army, earning the rank of captain. As a member of a medical team in the Vietnam War, he was awarded the Bronze Star. After service to his country, he returned home and entered the general surgery residency program through the University of Louisville School of Medicine. When he became a general surgeon at the University of Louisville Hospital (then Louisville General), he simultaneously began his lifelong commitment of providing medical care to less fortunate people in impoverished areas of the world. He felt that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”
On sabbatical leaves from U of L Hospital, he would travel to rural Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria, El Salvador, Vietnam, Russia, China, Cambodia, Philippines, Haiti, Malawi and other third-world countries providing medical care. It was a lifetime pattern of giving back to the less fortunate. Often after he returned home, he would arrange for doctors and other medical personnel to come to the United States where he would arrange medical training. On some occasions, these visitors would live with him as he opened his doors and helped them feel like family.
During the course of his career he would be recognized as an outstanding leader in the field of medicine, earning many awards and honors. He was a past president of the Jefferson County Medical Society; was a past president of the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Surgeons; was the 2006 recipient of the “SOS Norton Waterman Award” recognizing global medical awareness by sending supplies overseas; served as chairman of the SOS committee for three years; was professor and Chief of the Division of General Surgery at U of L School of Medicine; was Chief of Trauma at U of L Hospital for over two decades; was named “Teacher of the Year” by U of L for his outstanding contributions as an instructor; received the “Educational Achievement Award” from the Kentucky Medical Association; was awarded the “Excellence in Education Award” from the Caritas Foundation; received the 2001 Humanism in Medicine Award in recognition of compassion, empathy, respect and cultural sensitivity from the Healthcare Foundation; received the “Golden Apple Award” as the outstanding instructor to surgical residents on so many occasions the award would be named to honor him and even then he would become the recipient; was
the 2013 “Ephraim McDowell Physician of the Year”; was recently honored by the U of L Department of Surgery on a “Wall of Fame” and was recognized multiple times with Humanitarian Awards for his contributions at home and abroad. He was a member of various professional organizations, including the American College of Surgeons.
Mostly, he loved teaching medical and resident students who would become doctors. Today, his devotion to their teaching has resulted in doctors across the USA and in many areas of the world utilizing skills learned from him that provide better patient care. Many in the medical field give Dr. Miller credit for their own accomplishments.
His name is respected across the USA and in many parts of the world as a remarkable person and surgeon. Yet, with all his accomplishments, Dr. Frank Miller was most importantly a simple man who recognized the value of each individual he met. He had a strong desire to make a difference by helping others. He never viewed himself in any way better than his fellow man. With a practical approach to his own life, he made all who knew him feel respected. He was a gifted man who walked a humble path.
Services are scheduled at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in North Vernon on Friday, December 29, at 10 a.m., with burial to follow. A “Celebration of Life” will take place immediately following burial at the Parish Community Center in North Vernon. All friends and family are invited.
Arrangements were entrusted to Sawyer – Pickett Funeral & Cremation Service.
A memorial service to honor Dr. Miller is planned at a later date by the U of L Department of Surgery.
The family extends sincere appreciation to Magnolia Springs Senior Living and the Baptist East Hospital Palliative Care team for their love and support.
Expressions of sympathy are requested to “Owen’s Wish Fund.” Online donations may be made at www.UofLbrowncancercenter.org, using the Owen’s Wish Fund link at bottom of home page; or send a check made payable to Owen’s Wish Fund, U of L Office of Advancement, Louisville, KY 40292, Attn: Bryan Robinson; or to the Alzheimer’s Association; or to the Baptist East Hospital Butterfly project; or to the charity of your choice.
“The Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent one from the other.”