Willis Merle Miller, 92, of Baltimore, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 28, 2020, at Carroll Place, Carroll. He was born August 21, 1928, in Mt. Orab, Ohio, to the late Clarence and Leona (née Klein) Miller. He was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Korea during the war.
Willis graduated from Capital University with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and embarked on a 60-year career in Ohio's public education system. He started teaching in Conesville (interrupted by his Army service), then Zanesville, followed by 37 years at General Sherman Junior High and Lancaster High School in Lancaster. After retiring from Sherman, he spent 18 years (three as a volunteer) as an educational aide and math tutor for the elementary and middle schools in the Liberty Union-Thurston school district.
Though noted for being covered in chalk dust and for riding his bicycle to class in all weather well into his 80s, he will be most remembered for his absolute devotion to bringing out the best in all his students, whatever their capacity.
Among honors he received were a "Golden Apple Award" from the Baltimore Lions Club for his years of service at LU-T, a student-requested invitation to speak at Baccalaureate at LU-T in 2013, and election to the Western Brown High School Academic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Willis also contributed to his community as an active member of Trinity United Church of Christ and strong supporter of the Baltimore Community Museum.
He was an avid collector of antique automobile memorabilia and old bicycles. He repaired and gave away uncounted bicycles to neighborhood children, who could often be seen watching Willis at work in his garage workshop.
Willis is survived by Carolyn (née Sims), his loving wife of 69 years; sons David (April Siegfried) of Chicago and Alan of Lancaster; and sister-in-law Elly. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Wilmer.
No calling hours or service will be observed. A graveside service to mark his life and passing will be held later. Donations in his honor can be made to the Baltimore Community Museum.
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