WORCESTER-Erwin H. “Dusty” Miller, 83, of Worcester, MA, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, surrounded by family, love, music, and stories. He lived his life deliberately, pragmatically, and with great curiosity and integrity.
Born in Worcester on March 21, 1940, he was the eldest child of Dr. Erwin Curtis and Harriet (Wright) Miller and big brother to his sister, Edith.
Dusty completed his early education at the Bancroft School in Worcester. He attended high school at Deerfield Academy, graduating Cum Laude in 1958. He went on to earn a BA from Dartmouth College in 1962 and a JD from Yale Law School in 1965.
He spent his career practicing law, retiring after 50 years at Bowditch & Dewey. His practice was concentrated in representing Community Banks, Estate Planning and Settlement, and Non-Profit Organizations.
His most epic journey was his 55-year marriage to his wife, Margi. Together they traveled the world - by plane, boat, train; by chicken bus, rickshaw, taxi, canoe; by camel, horse, elephant, and donkey; and on foot - visiting myriad countries and seeing all but one continent.
He and Margi raised three daughters, Emilie, Betsy, and Sarah, who are very proud to call Dusty “Dad”.
In addition to his wife, Dusty is survived by his three daughters and their partners; five fabulous grandchildren: Kate, Hap, Sally, Will, and Teddy; his sister, Edith, and his niece, Harriet, who reside in Germany; and a number of far- flung cousins.
Dusty was a long-time loyal supporter of cultural and community-focused organizations.
He was a lifetime member of the First Baptist Church of Worcester and served its congregation in many capacities over the decades. He was a long-time member of the Worcester Club and relished meals shared there with family, friends, or colleagues. He was also a member of the Worcester Fire Society and appreciated the camaraderie of its meetings.
Dusty served on the boards or on committees of numerous organizations over the years, including the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester; Worcester World Affairs Council; WICN Public Radio, Inc; Mechanics Hall; EcoTarium (Formerly the New England Science Center); Greater Worcester Community Foundation; the former Higgins Armory Museum; Music Worcester; Worcester Art Museum; the former Performing Arts School of Worcester; Worcester Cultural Commission; and the former Andover-Newton Theological School.
Dusty was proud to receive a number of awards for community service, among them the 10th Arts Worcester Award (1992); The Bishop Bernard Flanagan Ecumenical Award from The St. Thomas More Society of Worcester (2007); the Boys and Girls Club of America National Service to Youth Award (2008); and the Heart of the Region Award (2015).
One of Dusty’s most memorable experiences was his participation in the final leg of the third (and largest) historic march from Selma to Montgomery, AL in late March, 1965. Along with his parents and others with the Massachusetts Council of Churches he joined thousands marching in support of the proposed Voting Rights Act. Dusty was in his last year of law school at the time and was writing a paper about the Voting Rights Act, which hadn’t yet passed. Recalling the event fifty years later, in 2015, Dusty wrote: “It seemed an opportunity for me to lend support and see and feel the real-life importance of the effort to finally achieve the protection of the right to vote.”
In addition to community service and travel, Dusty listed hiking, photography, music, theatre, history, and current affairs as avocational interests.
Those who had the good fortune to know him will miss his kindness, his humor, and his beautiful smile.
A Celebration of Life will be held in early spring, 2024, at the First Baptist Church, Worcester, date and time to be announced.
Instead of flowers please consider making a donation to a community organization you believe in, in memory of Dusty’s generous spirit.