City of Seaford pays tribute to Councilman Larry Miller

By Lynn R. Parks

Monday's funeral at St. John's United Methodist Church for Seaford City Councilman Larry Miller was not long, lasting just under one hour. But that, said city manager Dolores Slatcher, was the way Miller would have wanted it. "Larry would not have wanted any of us to take time to honor his accomplishments," Slatcher said in her eulogy. "Being brief was important to him." Even so, remembering Miller and the ways in which he contributed to the city was important, Slatcher added. "Larry was a part of many decisions that changed the face of what the city of Seaford will look like for years to come," including the renovation of downtown, continuing annexations, expansion of the city's infrastructure, construction of the new city hall and the development of the Ross Business Park and Seaford Industrial Park, she said. Miller, 60, died Tuesday, April 11, just moments after the 7 p.m. city council meeting was supposed to start. He was in city hall, preparing for that meeting, when he collapsed. The meeting was postponed when he took ill and it was cancelled at 7:20. The Rev. Boyd Etter told the standing-room only congregation at the funeral that being early and well-prepared for a meeting was typical of Miller. "He had an extremely strong work ethic and was clearly called to public service," he said. In addition to serving for 20 years on the city council, Miller was a lifetime member of the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department.

"It was important to him to understand the issues and to be able to answer questions people had," said Slatcher. "The people of Seaford knew that if Larry committed to do a job, he would not let you down." Slatcher said that when Miller served as the city's electric commissioner, he often went out on jobs with the linemen. More recently, he served as police commissioner, a position of which he was extremely proud, she said. "His bond with the officers, the captain and the chief was unprecedented," she said. "His decisions always had to be in the best interests of the city and of its employees," Slatcher said. "He demanded that fiscal, ethical and moral responsibility be observed." But there was a light-hearted side to Miller, Slatcher said. She recalled his quick wit and humor, as did Councilman Mike Vincent, also a member of the fire department. "I can only imagine what Larry is thinking up there, when he looks down and sees me at the podium," said Vincent, who spoke at the funeral. In his closing remarks, Vincent alluded to Miller's fondness for golf and to his friendship with another long-time Seaford resident, Carroll Lee Dixon Jr., who died Dec. 14, 2002, and who was a 41-year employee with the city's electric department. "I'm sure that Larry and Carroll Lee have met up up there and have already called for a tee time," he said. "I have no doubt."

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