Bill Miller, pioneering Goodyear employee, dies

Jan. 7, 2014

William "Bill" Russell Miller, former vice president of governmental personnel relations at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., died on Dec. 26, 2013, in Cocoa Beach, Fla., after a lengthy illness. He was 91.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, his family believes he was the first African-American vice president at a major rubber company.

Miller was born in Albany, Ky., on April 6, 1922. After graduating from high school, he served his country in World War II in the South Pacific as a technical sergeant with the United States Army.

Going to college on the G.I. Bill, he graduated with a bachelor's degree from Tennessee State University and received his Masters of Science degree from The University of Akron.

Beginning at the Goodyear atomic energy plant in Piketon, Ohio, Miller climbed the corporate ladder to become a vice president. He retired in 1987, but remained active in various business ventures and consultancies. He served on more than 19 boards, six of which he chaired.

Miller was preceded in death by his parents, Flossie O'Della (nee Sprouls) and John "Dude" Miller; his three brothers, Johnnie, Lyle and Richard Miller; and a sister, Mary Elizabeth Williams.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 18 years, Edith; children Richard Ross, Anita Rankin (William), Rosanne Miller-Cleveland and Shana Miller; sisters Imogene Moffett and Sally Mae McDougal (Robert); and grandchildren Stefani Fullum, Anthony (Shelli) Fullum, Royce Cleveland and Amanda Cleveland. Miller also was a loving great-grandfather to Castor and Dakota Cleveland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the William R. and Edith Pitt-Stamps Miller Endowment Fund (777450), c/o Tennessee State University Foundation, 3500 John A. Merritt Blvd., Nashville, TN 37209. For more information, click here.