John Jacob Miller, once a U.S. Congressional candidate and a retired investigator in the Brooklyn district attorney’s office who spent the past 30 years living in Noyac, died on Monday at Southampton Hospital. He was 94.
According to his family, his kidneys failed and he was admitted to the hospital’s hospice care on Friday.
Though he had prostate cancer for 20 years, Mr. Miller was in good health and spirits, his son Charles Miller said. A football fan, he was happy to have watched the Super Bowl the week before. “He wasn’t that happy — he’s a Giants fan,” his son said.
Mr. Miller was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 14, 1919, to John J. Miller and the former Emma Fetherston. He graduated from St. Francis in Brooklyn, and then went on to three years of college before enlisting in the Coast Guard, serving from 1941 to 1945. A World War II veteran, he served aboard the U.S.S. Campbell.
While on leave in 1943, he married the former Margaret (Peggy) Weber on Nov. 20. The couple celebrated 70 years together last year. His favorite song remained their wedding song, “As Time Goes By,” made famous by the movie “Casablanca.”
His mother helped him find a long career at the Brooklyn district attorney’s office after he was discharged. She had a newsstand in front of Borough Hall, and she mentioned to one customer, a judge, that her son was serving in the Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Unit, and he found him a job. He worked as a homicide detective investigator from 1945 to 1983.
In 1948, he was asked to run for Brooklyn’s 12th Congressional District seat on the Republican ticket. He lost to John J. Rooney, who went on to serve 15 terms from 1944 until 1974.
After moving from Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Noyac after retirement, he helped maintain his son’s property, swam with his wife at the Omni in Southampton, enjoyed a group of friends, and did some traveling. He was a regular at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, as he was an enthusiastic reader, mostly of mysteries — Tom Clancy’s in particular. His family reported he was an excellent cook and that the overwhelming favorite was his breaded chicken cutlets recipe.
“He was a great man, a wonderful father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and husband,” Charles Miller said.
In addition to his wife and Mr. Miller, who lives in Bay Ridge and Noyac, he is survived by two other children, Jerry Miller of Millstone, N.J., and Regina Miller of Southampton. Nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren also survive.
A son, John Joseph Miller, died in 2002. He was also predeceased by his siblings, Emma Morse, Frank Miller, and Charlie Miller, and by a grandson, John Francis Miller, who was killed when a tree fell on him in Lloyd Harbor during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
A Mass was said yesterday at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sag Harbor, followed by a private burial at Calverton National Cemetery. Condolences can be sent to the Miller family at 32 Pine Neck Avenue, Sag Harbor 11963.