Obituary – Howard John Miller

September 26, 1951 – September 24, 2022

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Howard Miller aged 70 of Widewater, on September 24, 2022 in Slave Lake. Howard is survived by his wife of 40 years Linda, his mother
Gladys, his brother David (Deborah), his sister Joanne (Bob) and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Max Howard, and his sister Teresa.

Howard was born in Calgary. His love for music began with taking drum lessons at the age of 5 and he played with several marching, rock and dance bands. He also taught drums at a local music store and school. His work as a drummer in Calgary paid for his university education. As a child, Howard was fascinated by space travel. He even wrote to NASA in junior high. They thought he was a teacher and sent him posters and lesson plans. He started taking Engineering in university with hopes of joining the space industry, but soon learned that English, Linguistics and teaching were his passions. Howard graduated with a BEd from the University of Calgary in 1973. He took his first teaching job in Peerless Lake. From there he went to Manning where he was persuaded to try to resurrect the band program even though he had no course work in band or music. Every weekend in that first year he took home an instrument to learn how to play so he could teach his students. The hard work paid off and in 1981 the Band of Rosary/ Paul Rowe Schools was awarded Alberta Community Band of the Year. It was also in Manning where he met his wife Linda. Howard and Linda went on to teach in Whitehorse, Whitecourt, and Nanton and ended his career at St. Mary of the Lake, Slave Lake. His school bands earned over a hundred Local, National, and International Gold and Silver awards. In Nanton he won a prestigious Provincial Excellence in Teaching Award. He often said “I teach kids, not music” and was passionate about helping kids whether it was in Band, English or Social Studies. His students recognized this passion and enjoyed having him as their teacher.

Howard never did anything half way and was a lifelong learner. He worked his way down to a 2 handicap in golf and learned how to build custom golf clubs. He was an avid reader. Before the 2011 fire he had 8 bookshelves filled with fiction, scifi, philosophy and psychology. Howard loved to discuss philosophy with friends and family. In his retirement he continued to voraciously read and listen to music on his high end stereo. He also enjoyed spending time in the basement with his customized golf simulator, pool table, dart board, and of course, playing the drums.

At his request there will be no service.

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