Obituary by Anders-Rice Funeral Home in Asheville, NC
ASHEVILLE, NC – Dr. Napoleon Andrew Miller Jr., known to his friends as Andy, died peacefully on February 21, 2018. He had been at Brooks Howell Home since he suffered severe pneumonia in August, 2017, when he needed specialized nursing care. Andy Miller was born in Brevard, NC to Napoleon Andrew Miller Sr. and Eva Long Miller on April 9, 1924.
Dr. Miller was named to the NCHSAA Hall of Fame in 1998. He was involved in just about every phase of high school athletics during his career. He taught and coached at both Broughton in Raleigh and Boyden in Salisbury prior to serving as principal at both Brevard and Watauga. He served as superintendent of the Buncombe County schools from 1978-1987, spending a term on the NCHSAA Board of Directors. For many years he continued his involvement with the Association as the chairperson of the NCHSAA Hall of Fame Selection Committee.
He graduated with a B.S. degree in Physical Education and Social Studies from Western Carolina University in 1947. Continuing his focus on physical education while adding administration to his credentials, he earned an M. Ed. from Springfield College in 1950. In 1964, he earned an Ed.D. with a specialty in Administration, Supervision, and Higher Education Curriculum from the University of Tennessee.
After the U.S. entered WWII, Andy interrupted his undergraduate education by joining the Army Air Corps. He flew 32 missions over Europe as a ball turret gunner and waist turret gunner in B-17 bombers with the 551st Squadron, 385th Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force. His crew was only the second crew to survive their 25 missions with all alive.
Returning to the U.S., Andy became a high school teacher and coach. At that time, a coach coached all of the sports that a high school had: football (his greatest sports love), both boys and girls basketball, track, swimming, tennis, golf, and any other sport that needed coaching. He moved into administration as the principal at Mooresville Junior High School, then served as Director of Instruction for Transylvania County Schools, and then was principal at Brevard High School.
He always supported all of his schools' sports teams. While Andy was the principal at Brevard High School, he led the school in its racial integration, which was without incidents — this was the first NC High School west of Charlotte to integrate. In 1965, when Watauga County consolidated all of its high schools, Andy worked diligently to consolidate the students as one school as Watauga High School's first principal, a position he held for six years.
From 1971 through 1978, Andy Miller led the Department of Secondary Education at Appalachian State University as its Chairperson and Professor of Education. Upon the request of the Buncombe County School Board, Dr. Miller served as Superintendent of Buncombe County Schools until he retired in 1987. In recognition of his life-long devotion to secondary school sports, in 1998, Andy Miller was inducted into the NC High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
Andy broadened his influence from the local to the state level when he served on several state committees, including but not limited to: the Governor's State Commission for the Public School System of NC; the Board of Directors, NC High School Athletic Association; the Board of Directors, NC School of Science and Mathematics; the Board of Directors, Economic Education in NC Public Schools; the Task Force, Poverty in Public Schools; and as Coordinator, District VII, NC State Committee, Southern Association, Secondary Schools and Colleges. Dr. Andy Miller was preceded in death by his parents Napoleon and Eva Miller, his wife Rusty Miller, and his son James Miller (aka, Brik). He is survived by his son Frederic Miller of Palm Springs, FL, his daughter Susann Mathews of Hysham, MT, his grandson Andy Martin of Brooklyn, NY, his grandson Rick Martin of Springboro, OH, and his great-grandson Henrik Martin of Brooklyn, NY.
The memorial service was held on Sunday, February 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM in the chapel at Brooks Howell Home, 266 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, NC.