Born in Gervais, Oregon, Miller was raised on a farm where he helped grow flowers and vegetables for his family’s seed business. He joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1939 and at the outbreak of World War II was deployed to Europe, eventually participating in the D-Day invasion of 1944. Following the war, Miller moved to San Diego and worked in the nursery industry, eventually opening his own business in Vista, California. In 1961 he was hired by the San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation as the garden supervisor for the newly established Quail Botanic Garden (now San Diego Botanic Garden). Living on-site, Miller aided county planners in overseeing the garden’s design and implementation, as well as the construction of the main entrance, circulation systems, and associated parking. Miller also planted garden beds along the park’s pedestrian paths and established the site’s groves of, the now endangered, silver trees and redwood trees. He also collaborated with grower Howard Asper to plant one of the nation’s first public protea gardens. A proponent of sustainable horticulture, Miller favored the development of arid garden landscapes with drought-tolerant plants. He retired in 1978 after working at the botanic garden for nearly two decades. He served on the board of the Quail Botanical Gardens Foundation for several years before moving to Portland, Oregon, where died of cancer at the age of 69.