Lloyd J. Miller

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Lloyd J. Miller

Teacher and musician, Lloyd J. Miller, 78, died on July 18, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lloyd was born in Duluth, MN on December 17, 1938, where he grew up until moving to Madison, WI through high school. An abundantly curious, deeply-principled, optimistic, generous soul, Lloyd lived and loved his life fully. He especially enjoyed riding his motorcycle, traveling to the Southwest and national parks, gambling in Las Vegas, fishing and camping, passionately debating politics, celebrating special occasions with family, and spending time with close friends.

Lloyd served in the Navy then attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelors then a Masters in Ibero-American studies. He taught Spanish and anthropology at Kankakee Community College in Illinois (1968-70), and Des Moines Area Community College (1970-2000), spending eight years as DMACC’s director of social and behavioral sciences division (1974-82).

His anthropological career included graduate work studying the Otomí of Huixquilucan, Mexico in 1963, and independent field work with the Yucatán Mayans of Chan Kom, Mexico in 1990. He was editor of the newsletter-cum-journal, Teaching Anthropology: SACC Notes, for the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, a section of the American Anthropological Association (1991-2014). He conducted various tours of Mexico, culminating in 1989 in what he deemed “the educational highlight of my career”: a Fulbright-Hayes Group Studies Abroad grant in conjunction with the University of Naucalpan, Des Moines’ sister city, guiding seventeen teachers on a six-week educational tour of Mexico. Of twenty-one selections in The Tao of Anthropology (2008), his “The Accidental Anthropologist” was the only submission written by a community college professor.

From the age of fifteen, Lloyd was a professional saxophonist and clarinetist. Belonging to the American Federation of Musicians, Local 75, he performed jazz, classical, and big band dance for over forty years throughout central Iowa.

He is survived by his children: Sam Miller, Laura Sparks (George Sparks); stepchildren: Erin Drinnin (Jason Jones), Joel Drinnin (Amanda Drinnin); grandchildren: Nathan, Toby, Mabyn, Jade, Beatrice, and Owen; and companion: Mary Beth Wilk. He is preceded in death by parents Phil and Helen Miller, wife Toby Miller, and wife Beverly Drinnin. A memorial service will be held at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Avenue, Des Moines at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 23rd.

Among many organizations, Lloyd passionately supported the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation. In lieu of flowers, please donate to causes close to your hearts.

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