Jeffrey Gordon Miller, a logistics officer for the CIA and then the National Security Agency, died of unknown causes at his home in Joppa on Aug. 6. He was 58.
“He lit up a room,” said his sister, Cheryl Birmingham of Oak Ridge, New Jersey. “He had a very strong moral character. He was just an all-around, really great human being.”
Mr. Miller was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, to Robert Miller, who worked for Valspar Paint, and Peggy Miller, who worked for Sunco Tool & Die. The family moved to Lutherville and then Jamestown, New York, where Mr. Miller spent most of his school years. He graduated from Southwestern High School.
Growing up, he was “good at everything,” his sister said. He excelled in most sports, but was particularly skilled in baseball.
“I learned early in life not to compete,” Mrs. Birmingham said.
He graduated from Allegheny College in 1984, earning his Bachelor of Arts in political science. One of his first jobs was with Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where he was the director of security. He led the daily operations of a 24/7 security force, looked into crimes and managed an off-duty police program. It was a demanding job, according to Mrs. Birmingham.
Mr. Miller was not allowed to divulge much information about his jobs with the CIA and NSA, his sister said. His resume says he handled supply chain and polygraph logistics, as well as top-secret security clearances. Mrs. Birmingham said he traveled extensively while working at the CIA.
“He truly loved this country and I believe he served it in really big capacities,” Mrs. Birmingham said.
He met his wife, Laurie, during his lengthy CIA application process. He was looking for a part-time job, and Laurie interviewed him for a security guard position at her place of work. The two married in 1999 at the Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Eldersburg.
Laurie died of cancer in May 2019. Mrs. Birmingham said he was a devoted husband to the end, shaving his head when Laurie lost her hair from chemotherapy. The couple loved to take trips to Maine, and to New York City to watch Broadway shows. They also regularly entertained friends and neighbors. Mr. Miller was a gifted cook, his sister said, especially with seafood dishes.
Mrs. Birmingham emphasized his wit and sense of humor, noting that many of his friends remarked upon it in their condolences. When looking through old text messages, she found an exchange with her brother about his efforts to lose weight.
“A couple months ago I congratulated him for losing 15 pounds,” she said. “He texted me back ‘that’s just one suitcase off the Titanic.’ He just came up with those.”
Mr. Miller is survived by his parents, Robert and Peggy Miller of Woodbine, Mrs. Birmingham’s husband, Robert, and their three daughters, Grace, Joanna and Kaylah, all of Oak Ridge, New Jersey.
The family is holding a memorial service Saturday at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. The church is at 2205 Old Liberty Road in Eldersburg. The service will be open to the public, but the burial will be private.