When Norm Miller of Richland died Sunday, the Tri-Cities lost a staunch community supporter.
And the Democratic Party and B Reactor Museum Association lost a tireless worker.
"He was a tremendous worker for the Democratic Party. I remember he worked for a lot of candidates over the years," said longtime Democrat Jim Watts of Kennewick.
Miller, 85, was chairman of the Bobby Kennedy for President committee, which led to his election as chairman of the Benton County Democrats. In 1992 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.
He also was an advocate for the mentally ill, working decades with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, fighting to get the Tri-City community, and the state, to better address their needs.
"He was always busy in the community. If he was ever needed, Norm never said no. He was always doing some good work for the community or the party," Watts said.
Maynard Plahuta met Miller through their mutual work with the B Reactor Museum Association.
"He was a great asset to our organization. Norm was always thinking out of the box and came up with some tremendous ideas. Whatever he suggested was always right on target," Plahuta said.
Miller, a chemical engineer, came to Richland after marrying his wife, Shirley, in 1951. At Hanford, he worked for General Electric and later was named vice president of technical affairs for United Nuclear Corporation where he also oversaw reactor safety.
After retiring, Miller became a B Reactor tour guide and worked to establish the museum.
"He knew a lot of the history and was involved with the B Reactor in the early days," said Plahuta. "He was a tour guide for years but a couple years back said he'd have to back off. He was slowing down a bit."
Both men called Miller a great fellow, who was friendly to everyone and very dedicated, with the highest integrity.
"What I remember most is Norm was always looking at the broad picture. He looked with different eyes, always thinking of how others may see, or interpret, or comprehend. He was always thinking of other people," Plahuta said.
Norm is survived by his wife, Shirley; his children, Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller, Jennifer and her husband, Vic Paci; and Stanley Jacob.
There will be a celebration of Miller's life at 2 p.m. Oct. 12 at Einan's Event Center. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, P.O. Box 1135, Richland, or to the Tri-Cities Food Bank.