A great patron of Mormon history has passed on today, Larry Miller. He is perhaps best known for owning the Utah Jazz and several car dealerships in the state. But to me and many of my blogmates, his generosity is what made five of the best years of my life possible. As I remember the story, it was Miller who first approached Ron Esplin and Dean Jessee, asking for ideas for projects where the Miller family could be useful. Esplin and Jessee, without hesitation, invited him to become involved with the JSPP. Miller was not a scholar, but he had a deep love for the Prophet Joseph and has left us all in debt for his generosity.
On a personal note, I was privileged to attend an annual party held in the Miller home a few years ago. Jeff Cannon and I joked that no one would want to sit with the “single guys,” and we thought we were right, as most of our JSPP colleagues settled in at tables with other married couples. Our singleness, however, allowed for several empty chairs at our table, which to our surprise were soon filled by Larry and his wife, Rick Turley, and John Tanner. Perhaps the most prominent individuals at the party condescended to sit and have genuine conversation with a couple of relatively unknowns. I will always remember that experience.
If anyone has any memories of Brother Miller, or would simply like to express your thoughts, feel free in the comments below. The thoughts and prayers of the bloggers at the Juvenile Instructor are with the Miller family.