August 18, 2001 + Jack Miller, Jr. + (updated: 8/27/01)
It is with a very heavy heart that I must report the very unexpected passing of Jack Miller Jr. Jack was very involved with the Independant Live Steamers and had recently taken on the job of editor for their Newsletter. I hope others will be better able to fill you in with details, I am still unable to deal with his tragic loss. We had only recently gotten to know each other, but I feel as though I have lost a lifelong friend. A member of the IBLS, he truly embodied the meaning of the word Brotherhood. Jack died at 3:30 AM Saturday the 18th.
Secretary East Coast USA, International Brotherhood of Live Steamers
I found the following information on Jack’s personal website and thought that you would all like to know a little more about a fellow Live Steamer. – Fr. Jay Finelli 8/27/01
“My name is Jack Miller Jr, and I have been involved in the fire service as a volunteer firefighter since the age of 16. As soon as I was old enough, I joined the South Fork Volunteer Fire Dept, South Fork, PA in November 1971. My father and grandfather were both life members of the South Fork VFD.
After getting married, to Zola Garland of Portage in 1975, I moved to Portage in the same year. In November 1976, when I turned 21 years of age, I transferred my membership from South Fork VFD to the Portage VFD. Since joining the Portage VFD, I have held the rank of ( at that time ) 2nd Lt, 1st Lt, and Capt. I am also a past President and Secretary of the Portage Volunteer Fire Dept. For the year 2000, I hold the rank of Lt. I am also the head advisor for the Explorer Post 583 of the Portage Volunteer Fire Dept. My oldest son, Jamie, is an active volunteer firefighter with Portage also. My younget son, Matthew, belongs to the Explorer Post, and he is one of the 11 charter members of the group. My grandson, Tristan is too young to join, being only 4, but he is very much on his way of following mine and his father’s footsteps. In fact, if you ask him, he’ll tell you, the rigs at the hall are his.
I guess my interests, railroading and firefighting, have alot to do with my past. My grandfather, Robert Parke Sr. was an engineer/fireman for the Conemaugh & Blacklick Railroad, a small line that worked Bethelehem Steel at it’s Johnstown, PA plants, and I lived along the 4 track mainline of the Pennsylvania Railroad in South Fork, PA, and along the Western Maryland Railroad in Chambersburg, PA, while growing up. In 1974 I was hired by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad / Chessie System as a brakeman and later promoted to conductor, before being furloughed in 1982. I worked on the Pennsylvania Sub-division which extended from Cumberand, Md to New Castle, PA, although I worked mostly in the Johnstown, PA and Somerset, PA areas of the division.
After being furloughed, I went to the Municipal Police Training Academy at Johnstown Vo-Tech, Johnstown, PA. Upon graduated, I became a police/fire/ems dispatcher for the Mainline Police Ass’n in Ebensburg, PA. I since have worked for several area police departments as a part-time officer. About 1993 I was hired as a telecommunicator at Cambria County 9-1-1 for about 3-1/2 years. I returned to policing after leaving 9-1-1. During this time, I was active with the fire departments I belong to.
Thus, my interets in railroading and fire fighting. I have since left police work and am now in the private sector and guite active again with Portage VFD. I am also the local Forest Fire Warden for our fire department, in District 6 ( Blair, Cambria, & Indiana Counties ).
I am married, to a wonderful woman, Zola, for the past 25 years, and in addition to my two sons, and grandson, I have a daughter, Misty. I have been trying to get her involved in the Explorers, but she is not interested. Let’s say when the alarm sounds, my wife and daughter stand clear of the door, for fear of getting run over with three of us trying to get out the door at the same time.
Enough about me, check out the pages and links connected with them below and enjoy your visit.
My father, Jack Miller Sr is an active member of the Independent Live Steamers, as you will see, when you check out the ILS pages. he is very much a Pennsylvania Railroad follower.
So you can see, railroading and firefighting are in my blood.”