Throughout his life, Bill Miller lived the values he learned growing up in small Minnesota towns – hard work, integrity, and selflessness. Along with his kindness, sincerity, and sense of humor, these values made Bill consistently successful in every facet of his life – family, friends, business, and community. He always listened, genuinely interested in what people had to say. He was a man of compassion and empathy for those who were less fortunate than himself and often marveled at how lucky he was. He gave freely without expecting anything in return.
Bill’s intelligence, insatiable curiosity, and competitive determination drove career achievements from graduating at the top of his law school class to serving as CEO and board member of a number of Fortune 500 technology firms. But his modesty and refusal to take himself too seriously remained throughout. While his mother seldom missed the opportunity with friends to proudly display a picture of Bill accepting a technical achievement Oscar on behalf of his company, Bill himself always wryly pointed out that the award-winning technology was invented at the company before he became CEO.
Almost everyone from the receptionist to the executive suite appreciated Bill’s business skills. He cared very much about the individuals he worked with, and the feeling was invariably reciprocated. He always credited success to just about everyone but himself, yet was the first accept fault when something went wrong. His selflessness also manifested itself in Bill’s support and mentoring of strong women, young entrepreneurs, and aspiring executives.
These same qualities were also evident in Bill’s family life. His consistent support and mentoring of his children made him a beloved father. Bill and Gina deeply loved one another, and they built their marriage of more than twenty years on a foundation of mutual devotion, appreciation, and friendship. Their remarkable relationship gifted his children with an understanding of how significant such a shared life can be.
Bill’s family discussions were original, enlightening, and entertaining. To his children, he was an endless source of unusual facts, a kind of “Google before Google.” But a house littered with half-empty water bottles, a trail of personal items left in every city visited, and birthdays and anniversaries understood to be more ranges than actual dates served as testaments that with his intellect came an all too human absent-mindedness.
He was a voracious reader of everything from non-fiction speculations in particle physics, to eastern philosophy, to beach chair fiction. Bill loved to travel. Business took him repeatedly all over the world, but he preferred staying in one place for his personal time. There was usually a beach house in Hawaii for his family’s winter break, or an extended stay with Gina in an apartment in Rome or a rented villa in the Italian countryside.
Bill was a man of unfailing optimism. His usual reply when asked how he was would be some variant of "A+" or "10 out of 10.” Even in his three-plus year fight with cancer he periodically observed that he was, “playing with the house’s money,” because he had already beaten the six-month survival odds he received when first diagnosed.
For his last twenty years, Bill was the beloved patriarch of the Miller-Bornino “Millbor” Clan, extending from him and Gina, through grandparents, siblings, in-laws, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, literally all of whom had been touched by Bill’s generous support in one form or another. At the holidays, Millbor Central was at Bill and Gina’s home, where everyone gathered for Bill’s welcome remarks and toast, and to watch him make another futile attempt to carve a turkey properly.
We miss him enormously.