GAMBIER — Former Kenyon College physics professor Franklin Miller Jr., died Thursday, Oct. 4. He was 100 years old.
Well-known throughout the Gambier and Mount Vernon communities, Miller embodied the definition of a Kenyon professor as a teacher, mentor, and scholar and, as well, as a community keystone.
Miller was a past president of the Knox County Mental Health Association and United Way of Knox County and is a founder of the Knox County Genealogical Society. He helped found the Knox County Chapter of the NAACP. Franklin received the Mount Vernon Jaycees Outstanding Citizen Award in 1976.
Miller told the News in September he thought Knox County is a great place to live. “I like the people in it,” he said, “and I like the programs. I wouldn’t want to be away from here for anything.”
As an amateur musician, he played viola in the early years of the Knox County Symphony, and, since 1939, he regularly played string quartets with friends in his home. He was coach of the Lords soccer team for four seasons in the early 1950s.
He was an engineer and announcer in the early days of radio station WMVO. He enjoyed several personas on the air. As a disc jockey on a classical music show called “Music of the Masters” he was Franklin Miller. He became Dr. Franklin Miller on a program called “This Week in Science.” As Professor Franklin Miller, he hosted “Kenyon College on the Air.” He delivered sports news as Frank Miller. And as “Old Doc,” he spun records on a bluegrass music show.
The Franklin Miller Observatory, originally constructed in 1993, and the Franklin Miller Lecture Hall (Room 101, Hayes Hall) were named in his honor.
There will be no calling hours or funeral service.