Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Memoriam - Goodbye Eddy Miller

Charles Edmund "Eddy" Miller IV August 31, 1952 - June 20, 2009
Oh, the stories to be told. . . "Eddy lived life from his soul" Eddy's way on "Eddy time".

Celebration of Life for Eddy
Monday, August 3, 2009
4:00 pm
Aspen Hall, 18920 Shevlin Park Road, Bend, Oregon
Anyone who would like to come is welcome.

We are so sad that our wonderful friend and paddle buddy, Eddy Miller died this past week in a hiking accident on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho. For details about the accident, see KOHD's short video about Eddy.

It's hard to say enough wonderful things about Eddy Miller or to say the right things that convey how important he was to everyone.

Eddy exuded happiness and kindness. He was an intellectually curious person whose bright blue eyes would spark with interest. He loved to talk about the metaphysical and natural world. He knew the names and nature of every plant, insect and animal in or on the waterways. He was a fearless athlete and outdoorsman, excellent skier and inland waterman. He was up for most any adventure.
Eddy picked up trash, kept an eye on people's safety (he'd be sure to round up stragglers when we were on river trips) and was in all ways a shining example of how a human could live his or her life,
not only in the details of his life but with the loving kindness of his attitude. Eddy leaves behind his wife Ann Miller and his large family of sisters, brother-in-laws, nieces and nephews. He leaves the rest of us the richer for knowing him.

The Bend Bulletin wrote about Eddy's accident. Here's an excerpt:

Body of missing Bend man found in remote Idaho
The search for a missing Bend man came to an end on Wednesday in a remote section of eastern Idaho.

Searchers organized by the Lemhi County Sheriff's Office found the body of Eddie Miller, 57, about 300 feet down a cliff side.

An avid outdoorsman, Miller was on a rafting trip along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River with a group. Miller went on a Saturday afternoon hike along ridges of the Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness and didn't come back, according to Sheriff Sam Slavin. Miller had lived in Bend, for more than 30 years, friends said.

The area Miller hiked was remote and technical, Slavin said. And the region had experienced an unusual stretch of rain, making the rocks slippery, according to Slavin. After about four days of searching by a group that included the Montana Army National Guard, searchers found Miller's body against a cliffside tree.

"We can only assume he somehow lost his balance and fell off," Slavin said. Friends of Miller described him as adventurous. Win Francis had been friends with Miller for 50 years, and the two spent endless hours on rivers across the Northwest. "There's nobody I've been through everything like that with."

Miller was a perfectionist in his work as a carpenter and log home builder. Francis said.

"He was a superb carpenter." Francis said. "he was a master. He was a craftsman. . . . . READ MORE

Photo of log building, Oregon: Left - Eddy Miller, Greg Steckler, Burt Hurst, Dean Rogers

Obituary from the Miller family:

While on a rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Idaho, Eddy took an evening hike to get a view. This was one of his passions - looking for the perfect view that framed the day. It was to be his final hike. He slipped and fell off a cliff high above his river camp. The view from where he last stood was spectacular. Eddy lived as he died - doing something he loved to do.

Eddy and his twin sister, Jessie, were born in Portland, Oregon to Charles E Miller III and his wife, Mary. After graduation from Fountain Valley School in COlorado Springs, COlorado, Eddy took the road less traveled and attended the "University of Making a Life for Himself" in classic Eddy style - a curriculum that embraced his deep love for the outdoors and his life's work as a log home builder and gifted craftsman. He perfected the fine art of living, whether he was sheepherding, rafting, fly-fishing, building, skiing or standup paddling. Nature was his greatest teacher, both on the rivers and in the mountains.

His parents had prepared him and his three sisters well for the skills required to thrive in the great outdoors. Fly-fishing was at the top of the list, followed closely by spending summers in the British Columbia wilderness and working on the family cattle ranch. He also developed an insatiable appetite for reading.

Eddy worked magic with wood and tools. His eye for function, balance and beauty is apparent in the home Eddy created for Ann, the love of his life. Eddy and Ann Thatcher were married in September 1985. Their love, like his craftsmanship, knew no boundaries.

As a longtime resident of Bend, Oregon, Eddy made friends with everyone he met. His easy smile and infectious laugh are qualities that all who knew him will remember. Eddy's extraordinary life left a gift for every life he touched - the pure love and joy of being alive. His hug was the confirmation of life itself.

We will miss his "short little outings" that turned into all day adventures. We still do them because we can.

Eddy is survived by his wife, Ann: his twin sister, Jessie Opel of Whitefish, Montana; sisters, Wendy Johnson of Portland, Oregon and Cameron Kerr of Bend, Oregon: six nieces, two nephews and six grand-nephews.

Eddy's family thanks everyone for their love and sincere support. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Deschutes River Conservancy, 700 NW Hill St., Bend, OR 97701 or the Fresh Water Trust (formerly Oregon Trout), 65 SW Yamhill St., Suite 200, Portland, OR 97204.

Please post your comments by clicking on the word "comments" at the bottom of this post. If it's confusing (or you want to post a photo), send your photos/text to me and I'll post it.


  1. Cristina: I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Eddy. May his soul enjoy everlasting love and may his memory continue to inspire all who knew him. Peg

  2. For Wife, Sisters Three and All who knew and loved Eddie,

    Others will speak of his friendship, his love, his humor, his “genuine-ness” but I would tell you of something less obvious.

    In the course of time, the way a man measures another man is often by the way he works beside you. Some call it “Work Ethic” others call it “The Nobility of Labor”. It really is difficult to put into words. It is a kind of promise you make to your friend, “Your task will become my task, your burden, my burden, your accomplishment, my accomplishment, and when it is done, your triumph, my triumph”.

    Few could measure up to his high standard. Not surprisingly, the only individual I know that was his equal in this regard, was about to “partner up” with Eddie. It would have been a great duo. In the three decades I have known Eddie, he never wavered in his work attitude. He never faltered. He never made excuses because he had no need of any.

    As this early picture shows, I was proud to rub shoulders with such a fine man.

    G.L. Steckler

  3. Randall-
    That's terrible news. I feel for you. My heart goes out to his family and friends.


    Dan Schwarz
    Sales Representative, West Coast and Canada
    Northsports, Inc.

  4. Randall,
    I am so sorry to hear about Eddy. From the first moment I met him, I was attracted to his presence. This is a terrible loss.
    I will see you on the water.

    Ross G. Johnson
    United Tile

  5. I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend, Randall. How tragic. At least he left doing something he loved and while out living life to the fullest. My thoughts are with you and all those whose lives he touched.
    Jessica Miller

  6. Randall,
    I am so so very sorry to hear about this. This is the first I have learned
    of it.

  7. I'm so sorry. I only paddled with him twice, but what a bright light he was!
    From all I saw and heard of him, he made the most of all the life he had
    right to the end.

  8. Eddy was supremely fortunate to have had a friend like you in his life. Such a thing is among the greatest treasures one can enjoy. We knew him only a short time and felt close friendship from the start – that is the sort of wonderful person Eddy was. Ed and I appreciate the opportunity we had to know him through you and Cristina.

    Judy Shasek

  9. Wow, that's a total bummer, Eddy will surely be missed. Lets make this
    Fridays paddle to Eddy. What do you think?? Captain Sawdust

  10. Randall,
    I am so so very sorry to hear about this. This is the first I have learned
    of it.

  11. Randall, I am so sorry to hear about Eddy. I only just met him this past
    year but really enjoyed the guy. I know that you two were good friends and
    I feel for you and your family.

    Let's have a beer on the beach in his honor.

    Again, sorry.


  12. Randall, I'm so sorry about your friend ... What a shock.

  13. This is very sad. Although I only knew Eddy for a couple of years, I
    was touched by his kindness--a real gentleman and a fine athlete. The
    world is a better place for all that were fortunate enough to have come
    in contact with Eddy. We will all miss him. He did not suffer and died
    doing what he loved. Aloha Eddy Miller. Ed

  14. I think it would by nice to have a special memorial paddle to remember
    Eddy. I think this should be an annual event. I don't know when or
    where something like this would be most appropriate. I think that you,
    Randall, would know best concerning the details. It would be beautiful
    to see 20 plus paddlers on the river with Eddy in mind. Maybe we could
    all contribute to having a memorial plack made and placed in a place
    where it would mean the most to his family and friends. Aloha, Ed

  15. so sorry Randall,

    My deepest condolences to you, his family and friends,


  16. We learned today that your good friend and SUP’ing compadre Eddy Miller has passed on. I was able to find a couple of things on the web, including Randall’s comments, and just wanted to send along our condolences.
    As long as I can remember, my father has reminded us of a quote attributed to Hippocrates. It has been very special to me because it speaks so simply to the fragile, fleeting nature of life’s journey.

    Life is short, and the art long - the opportunity fleeting, the experiment perilous and the decision difficult.

    We know this is a sad but special time for all of you, and will keep you in our thoughts.


  17. Hi Randall:
    Yes, I did hear the story of Eddy missing on the news that day and was very sad to read your email. I was hoping otherwise and knew he was a friend of yours in the SUP group. So sorry to hear. Take care.


  18. Thank you for sharing with me. I have been deeply saddened by this news.
    From the few times I had the privilege of paddling with Eddy, I knew I was in the presence of greatness. I was very much looking forward to getting to know Eddy better and running more rivers with him. My heart is with his family and all who love him.

  19. One of our ski buddies emailed this response to the loss of Eddie. Rick Francis.

    "Even tho we didn't know him well, it was always so nice to run into him and get a big jolly hug, watch him enjoy each run, and listen to him exude about how wonderful everything was. It always perked up my day to see him. I'm sure he will be greatly missed by those who knew him well. Laurie C" Thanks,

  20. I came back from the Middle Fork last night and heard the news of our dear friend, Eddy. At the put in we had heard of a hiker missing and i had forgotten that they were launching the week before us. The river and country are a miraculous beauty. We stayed our last night at the location where Eddy crossed over. It is fabulous and majestic.... as he "IS". The place is so alive.... as Eddy "IS". I came home today and walked to the river in my backyard and the first thing I saw were the tiny precious beautiful blue "Forget Me Nots". Eddy "IS' and will always "BE". We love you!
    Peg and all your river buddies

  21. I am so very sorry for your loss. What an incredible individual. He will be greatly missed, but the memories will live on forever.
    Warm Regards,
    Lori Pintok-Snyder

  22. I knew Eddy from a different link- flyfishing. We have a sign-in log at the club cabin. Eddy would always write such vivid details of the day. Each visit jotting in the log, I would always look forward to seeing what Eddy had experienced that day- this I will miss so much, as I will Eddy. His smile is forever.