Dr. Bruce E. Miller, 88, of Las Vegas, NV, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 29, 2023, at his home. Memorials are suggested to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Pender, NE. Family services were held on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, at Rosehill Cemetery in Pender, NE. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender.
Bruce was born in Ida Grove, Iowa on Feb 7, 1935. The youngest son of Forrest Glenwood Miller and Grace (Sears) Miller. His older brother, Ron Miller, and sister, Marcia (Miller) Eggers, preceded him. The family moved to Pender, NE where Bruce worked at his father’s creamery and graduated from Pender HS in 1953. He was quite an athlete starting as point guard, quarterback and All Star 2nd baseman. He entered the Army during the Korean War and served as one of the last Sound Rangers. With the GI Bill, he graduated with an education degree from Wayne State College. Bruce then went on to earn his Master of Education and his Doctorate of Education from UNLV.
Bruce loved his family very much. He met the love of his life, and high school sweetheart, Donna Smith, in Pender, NE. They wed in June 1960. For the past 63 years they have continued together in love and support. They had two daughters, Lisa and Jami. Bruce was an avid golfer and master bridge player. He loved fishing and hunting and the outdoors. Bruce was a wonderful dancer and loved the rain.
Bruce was very proud of his 33-year career in the Clark County School District starting in 1958 and was known as one of the founding fathers of the 5th largest school district in the nation. As a teacher, coach, counselor, multi school principal and finally Athletic/Activities director, he built most of the structures and policies upon which the school district still operates. Bruce knew how to find the best in everyone and encouraged them to achieve in every capacity. He inspired youth who were told they would never succeed. He was known for his ability to turn around troubled schools. Some highlights of his career include creating the nationally award-winning Jubilation musical group, producing many National Merit Finalists and supporting his schools to win many State championships. Bruce leaves a legacy of a “how can I make things happen” attitude. He was one of the first board members of the NIAA and was inducted into the county, state and national Athletic Director’s Hall of Fame. This is akin to receiving an Oscar in your profession. To this day, he is the only person from Nevada every to receive this honor. He is also recognized for establishing the CCSD partnership office with LV business leaders to bring needed resources to the CCSD. He organized the first Corporate Challenge. He collaborated with such icons as Siegfried and Roy, the Shark Reef and Mandalay Bay Dolphin Habitat and the Sands Hotel world record balloon release, making these attractions possible in Las Vegas. He created the Varsity Quiz program, the Sun Youth Forum, Kiwanis club, ROTC, established certified officials and EMS at school sporting events. He served on the boards of the national football rules committee and the international Youth Basketball Association. He returned after retirement to create the successful Adult Evening Education program. The inspiration Dr. Miller brought to the youth of the CCSD and his team are legendary and his fundamental impact and legacy are the golden thread woven into the into the tapestry of CCSD history.
Privately Bruce served as a Master Mason with a 33rd degree from both the Scottish and York Rite. And he was the best Santa for the Elks Lodge each year. He was active in Community Lutheran Church and fundamental in obtaining supplies and soccer balls for their 20 year medical mission to El Salvador.
Legends start from someone who is brave enough to change their stars, resourceful enough to bring innovative processes to the setting, and whose fundamental impact creates a legacy that persists throughout years. This was Bruce. Loving husband, father and mentor. We love and miss you very much.
“We can do this. How can we make this happen?”