1959 Nicholas 2020

Nicholas Miller

September 10, 1959 — July 8, 2020


Nicholas Howard Miller, pianist and piano tuner extraordinaire, set down his tuning fork and entered eternal rest on July 8, 2020, at his home in Mount Pleasant, SC, surrounded by his wife and children, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Nick was born on September 10, 1959 in Napoleon, Ohio – a fitting birthplace for a man who later married into the French culture and developed an uncanny passion for French bread.

The oldest of three siblings, Nick grew up in Indiana in a creative household where all brothers developed a deep appreciation of music under their mother’s tutelage. He was a member of Saint Paul United Methodist Church, Fort Wayne, and graduated from Leo High School in 1977.

At the age of 18, Nick enlisted in the U.S. Air Force to serve his country and see the world. Little did the young staff sergeant know that he would spend his first five years posted less than 85 miles away from home. He was later deployed to the Philippines and Korea where he completed his ten-year tour of duty.

Following his return to civilian life, Nick pursued his passion for music, taught piano, and started Nick Miller Piano Service. Over the next twenty years, he grew an impressive list of customers ranging from Grammy Award-winning musicians, local universities, and countless churches, to local arts councils, the Spoleto Festival and the Charleston Jazz Orchestra. Nick also accepted payment in kind from his 90+ year-old customers, and often brought back from his tunings homemade pickles, jams, and salsa. Nick’s great honor was to have tuned for his musical hero Ramsey Lewis and have shaken his hand at a recent concert.

Nick’s innate curiosity and sense of wonder shaped him into a true renaissance man. His personal motto “How hard can it be?” led him to become a master sunflower grower, a carpenter, a scroll saw artist, a Porsche collector, car aficionado and rare motorcycle restorer, a traveler, beekeeper and feral cat whisperer.

Nick moved mountains to make his wife and children’s dreams come true. During their marriage, he loved to serenade his wife and their tuxedo cat Sherlock each night with classical music.

He embraced his wife’s pursuits and accompanied her on many public service adventures. He kayaked his way to beautifying an iconic creek in the Lowcountry, rang the Salvation Army bell garbed as an elf, read to children dressed as Santa, promoted Clean Water and the All-America City on Christmas Parade floats and cleaned local marshes and roadways.

Nick is deeply mourned by his wife Martine Miller and his son Nathaniel Kenny, both living in Mount Pleasant, SC; and his daughter Gabrielle Wolfe, Portland, OR. He is survived by his beloved mother Jeanene and stepfather Ed Alleger, Leo, IN; his father John Miller and his wife Nancy, Hardeeville, SC; his brother Dan Alleger and his wife Joy, New Orleans, LA; and his brother Curt Miller and his wife Lisa, Houston, TX; along with his daughter Michelle Miller and granddaughter. He is grieved by his mother-in-law Michelle and father-in-law Lucien Souilard, Agen, France, along with his brother-in-law Philippe Fourmigue and his nephew Alban, Lisses, France.

Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Nick’s Celebration of Life has been postponed and will be held later. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a tribute gift in memory of Nicholas H. Miller to the American Cancer Society.

Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted to www.mcalister-smith.com.

Arrangements entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, Mt Pleasant, 1520 Rifle Range Road Mt Pleasant, South Carolina, 29464, 843-884-3833.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nicholas Miller, please visit our flower store.

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