Charles Jacob "Buck" Miller Jr., founder of a Carroll County contracting company, died Tuesday from heart failure at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was 71.
The son of farmers, Mr. Miller was born in Baltimore and was 9 when he moved with his family to Hampstead. He was a 1958 graduate of North Carroll High School.
"He was actually in high school when his parents helped him buy his first piece of equipment in 1957. He began the business digging ponds and septic systems," said a son, Charles Jacob "C.J." Miller III of Westminster, who works in the family-owned business. "He formally incorporated C.J. Miller Co. in 1959."
When he opened the business that year, he expanded his equipment to a backhoe and a dump truck. He later established asphalt plants in Le Gore, Frederick County, in 1971, and added plants in Finksburg and Westminster.
Today, the company builds and paves roads and does site development, his son said.
Mr. Miller, who had not retired and was president of the company at his death, continued to come to work and inspect jobs, his son said.
His professional memberships included the Maryland Asphalt Association and the Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland.
Mr. Miller enjoyed working on his 120-acre Westminster farm, where he liked "haybining and mowing his hay," his son said.
He frequently donated labor, time, equipment and money to nonprofit groups and community organizations. He was an avid supporter of the Carroll County Agricultural Center and the annual Carroll County 4-H Fair.
He also supported the Carroll Hospice, United Coon Hunters Association and various youth sports programs in the county.
Mr. Miller helped the Kingsdale Volunteer Fire Company prepare for its mud bogging contests and readied the Agricultural Center's track for tractor pulls.
He enjoyed vacationing in Aruba.
He was a member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Pigeon Hills Snowmobile Club, Westminster Moose Lodge #1381, and Aerie 2226 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Littlestown, Pa .
Services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in the social hall of the Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company, 2030 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Westminster.
He is survived by his wife of three years, the former Katherine E. Gough; another son, Billy Miller of Westminster; a daughter, Lisa Marie Utz of Manchester; a stepson, Matthew Davis of Westminster; a stepdaughter, Kaitlin Davis of Westminster; two brothers, Donald Miller of Manchester and Paul Miller of Wyoming; and five granddaughters. Earlier marriages to Jean Black and Wendy Kolb ended in divorce.