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Clair Douglas Miller
May 24, 1947 ~ December 24, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Clair Douglas Miller of Winsted, CT on Christmas Eve, 2023 at 76 years of age. Clair Douglas Miller, known to family and friends as “Doug,” passed away surrounded by his loving family as the result of sudden and unexpected cardiac arrest a week earlier.
Born May 24, 1947, in Youngstown, Ohio, he earned his bachelor’s degree at Youngstown State University in 1970. Married to his wife, Diane Swensen Miller, on January 11, 1969, he is survived and mourned (and will be missed) by her, their two children, Christopher and Melissa, Melissa’s husband, John Paine, and grandchildren, Temper and Peregrin Paine. He served with distinction as a lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1971-1973.
Doug built an accounting career in Ohio, but when Diane made a midlife career shift to earn an M.D., he set that aside to follow and support her medical career. The couple settled first in Maine, then moved to Connecticut in 2005 to be closer to their family. Diane practiced as a doctor in Waterbury until recently, and Doug became an award-winning nature photographer.
Good-natured and good-humored, with a wonderful smile, Doug was a friend to all who were fortunate enough to know him. He was humble, kind, caring, endlessly patient, always dependable, and incredibly hard-working. He could do the impossible, too, by coming up with solutions to almost any problem, always trying to help those around him, always ready to lend a hand or offer an act of kindness.
Strong, smart, and independent, he was blessed with a wonderful creativity that not only gave the world his beautiful photography, but made him a renaissance man in other ways, from playing the trumpet to being a talented cook and baker. He loved music and reading (always had a book or National Geographic in his hands), enjoyed outdoor concerts and art fairs, and played sports of all kinds. This remarkable man also had a beautiful singing voice, serving as a church soloist, and was elected president of his church congregation during the family’s years in Ohio.
Doug was a wonderful father and grandfather who loved spending time with his family and grandchildren, especially when they went camping, a favorite time for him. As a devoted nature-lover and conservationist, he loved hiking and snowshoeing with his wife and dogs.
Always vigorous, active, and healthy, he was an avid bicyclist most of his life, biking 25 to 35 miles or more most days into his 70s, often stopping to help a turtle or frog get across the road.
And most of all he was a wonderful, helpful, and loving soulmate to his wife of 55 years. He frequently told her, “You are the best thing that ever happened to me.” Clair was the love of her life.
He was always full of life to his very last days, and the world will be a duller and darker place without him.
The world has lost a most gentle and beautiful spirit in Doug. To honor his memory, consider walking in the woods and thinking of him, or extending an act of kindness to a neighbor or stranger.
Clair’s (Doug’s) memorial service will be held at Phalen Funeral Home, 285 Migeon Ave., Torrington, at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Sierra Club in his name (www.SierraClub.org).