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Clair E. Miller, swimming pool builder

After a long tough battle with Parkinson’s disease and Parkinson’s-related dementia (caused by exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam), Clair E. Miller passed away at Harbor Healthcare in Lewes on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Clair was born on July 15, 1946 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the late Alvin E. and Esther (Hertzler) Miller. he decided to graduate from Central Christian High School in Kidron, Ohio, where he graduated in 1964.

Clair attended Goshen College (Goshen, IN). He dropped out of school due to a four-story fall while working on the construction of the Coudersport (PA) Hospital. He was in a body cast for 6 months. He lost his postponement and was drafted into the army. From 1967 to 1969 he served in the infantry. Clair was stationed in Vietnam in 1969. This experience shaped him physically and emotionally for the rest of his life.

After Clair’s discharge from the army, he returned to the Lancaster area. On November 27, 1970, Clair married Denise Smallwood of Christiana, Pennsylvania. Last November they celebrated their 50th anniversary. She survived it together with her son Christopher, her daughter-in-law Laurie Butcher and her grandson Sebastian.

Clair also leaves behind his brother Gene (Takoma Park, Md.), Sister-in-law Jane Godfrey, and nephew Jacob; his sister Marianne Miller Noble (Lancaster, Pennsylvania), brother-in-law Howard Noble, niece Jessica (Terrence Haynes), nephews Taylor, Tanner and Christian (Maya Zegarra) and their son William.

After Clair’s return to Lancaster, he began a swimming pool construction and maintenance career. He and his wife Denise owned and operated Miller Pool Service / Sunray Pools in Lancaster until his disability forced him to retire. After retiring, they moved to Scottsdale, Arizona for nine years. In 2011 they moved to Wilmington.

Clair’s great love was his family, the Phillies, boating on the Chesapeake, traveling, a great story, a good glass of wine and a good cigar. He also loved serving his community. During a company Christmas party – Christmas was his favorite holiday – he said it didn’t really feel like Christmas. He started a Christmas fund to which his employees contributed $ 1 or 2 a week. In the first year of its activity, the Miller Pool Service Christmas Fund provided complete Christmas dinner boxes for 50 families. Over the course of 10 years, the program grew into a Christmas dinner for around 600 families. Clair’s family would like to thank the Miller Pool Service staff for their years of dedication to building Miller Pool Service / SunRay Pools into the successful company it has become.

Clair’s family would like to thank his devoted veterinarian Tom Tully from the bottom of their hearts, who loyally stood by Clair in his final days. You would also like to thank the Harbor Healthcare staff, especially Beth Seeds, who has always been there with guidance, love and support; Michelle Kupfer Gosnell (aka “Florida”) for her love and devotion; and to Nichole Jackson, Donna White, Lauren Hahn, Karin Morengo and Justine for their unwavering care and love.

Contributions to the memory of Clair can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. www.michaeljfox.org or by mail to: Donation Processing, Michael J. Fox Foundation, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD.