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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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Published: Monday, 1/27/2014

Harold A. Miller [1935-2014]; Man grew up with, then ran family firm

Retired Reliance owner held posts with Kiwanis

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Miller Miller
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Harold A. Miller, retired owner of Reliance Propane and Fuel Oil Co. and a former officer in the West Toledo Kiwanis club, died Sunday in his Sylvania Township home. He was 78.

Jim McVicker, a son-in-law, said Mr. Miller died after an eight-month battle with throat cancer.

At age 13, Mr. Miller went to work for his father, Harold “Red” Miller, who founded Reliance, a distributor of compressed gas, propane, and home heating oil, during the 1950s.

Mr. McVicker said Mr. Miller sat on top of telephone books stacked on the driver’s seat of trucks that he drove and made deliveries to customers while working for his father.

After graduating from Macomber Vocational High School in 1954, Mr. Miller joined his father in the business full time and eventually became president of the company.

“He did everything,” Mr. McVicker said. “He hired and fired. He did everything from driving trucks and delivering gas to filling gas-grill cylinders.”

Mr. Miller retired in August and sold his interests in the company, which is based on Secor Road, to Mr. McVicker.

He was a member for many years of fuel oil and gas industry organizations, including the Ohio Petroleum Marketers’ Association and the Ohio LP Gas Association, which he served as president in 1986.

Mr. Miller was born on Dec. 20, 1935. He married the former Carol A. Page on Dec. 17, 1955, in Toledo.

Mr. Miller joined the West Toledo Kiwanis in 1980 and became one of its most ardent supporters, said club member and longtime friend Joe Schaefer. He rose to the offices of president and vice president during his many years of membership.

“He was a best friend to everybody. People went to him to ask for his help in different projects,” Mr. Schaefer said.

Surviving are his wife, Carol; daughters, Debra Teague, Holly Miller, and Tracie McVicker; brother, Larry Miller; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday in the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave., where services will begin at 11 a.m. Friday.

The family suggests tributes be to the VACTERL Network of Northglenn, Colo.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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