Cecil’s Story

Site created on July 22, 2020

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Journal entry by Marlene Flores

Obituary for Cecil Miller written by Cheryl Miller

Cecil H. Miller, 67, of Dallas, Texas, passed away peacefully in his home on Wednesday, July 22, 2020, after a short battle with a rare form of an aggressive cancer. He was surrounded by his family.

Cecil was born on August 11, 1952, son of the late Dean and Judith Miller. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Cheryl Miller, their son Austin Miller, grandpuppies Zoey and Harper and his daughter, Vanessa Clymer. He is also survived by his brother, Steve Miller (Cathy Miller) and nephews, Garrett Miller and Troy Miller (Chanda and Ava), niece, Lindsey Miller and cousins, Tim Miller (Daisy Miller), Terri Gillespie, Mary Ann Sipsma and Donnie Tucker. Cecil loved his in-laws, brother and sister-in-laws, Levis and Rita Carter and Carol and Allen Elmore as well as nieces and nephews, Haley, Houston, Beckham Hopkins; Devin, Alex, Bexley, Terran, Jack Carter; Nick and Cindy Elmore; Susan, Bud, Cole, and Kinley Stewart; Christie and Robert Schmierer; honorary niece, Natalie Green; honorary son, Sam Fadduol and many other aunts, uncles and cousins.

Cecil graduated from Fremont High School in Ohio where he scored medals on the school swim team. He began working as a young boy picking cabbage in the fields in Ohio and changing tires and washing dishes at the truck stop after school so he could buy his first car, a blue GTO. After high school he served 6 years in the National Guard.

Cecil started his career in retail at Woolworth Company and worked for various retail companies including TG&Y, McCrory and Pic N Save. In 1997, Cecil and Jack Griffey, a good friend and associate from his retail days, started Salons by JC with one company store. It has now grown to 10 company stores and over 100 franchises nationwide and in Canada. Cecil always said anybody could succeed if they worked hard and he was living proof. From working in the fields in Ohio to co-owning the #1 ranked salon-suite company in the industry, is quite an accomplishment. Cecil was so proud that his son Austin and his partner’s son, Steve Griffey, have taken the reigns and are doing such a great job with the business. Cecil and Jack's hands-on family ownership style and hard work ethic has been the key to their success. He loved his tenants like family and they loved him.

Cecil always thought he was right and he knew everything. If he didn't know, you would never know because he was so good at making things up that were believable. He couldn't keep a secret to save his life and he couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. His biggest fear was being blind as he was blind in one eye for many years, even making his friends play golf with a patch over one eye to see how difficult it was. He took it all in stride but, as of 3:35 P.M. on July 22nd, he has perfect eye sight.

Cecil and beloved wife, Cheryl, married in February of 1988 and their son, Austin, was born in February of 1994. Cecil spent years coaching Austin's soccer teams and was a fixture in the stands for every sporting event, no matter where it was played. He was an amazing dad and husband, spoiling his family every day and then complaining that they were spoiled.

Cecil was like a father figure to many boys who hung out at his house as well. There are too many to list but some of them wrote him letters on his last Father's Day telling him how much he had meant to them, which he said was one of the greatest gifts he ever received and moved him to tears. Cecil's friends, whether work friends, neighbors or friends made through school and sports were considered family to him as well. He loved them all. He was especially close with his business partner, Jack, who talked to him for hours on the phone and drove to Dallas many times during his illness to visit him. He was truly blessed with wonderful family and friends.

Cecil loved entertaining his friends and family at the lake house, dragging the kids behind the boat, grilling enough food for an army, drinking old fashions and margaritas and playing Mexican music. You could hear him blasting it all over the lake from the boat. He loved golfing, biking, vacationing, attending and hosting neighborhood dinner parties, playing poker and Guesstures with friends. Nothing made Cecil happier than being with his friends, and as one friend said recently about a photo of the two of them laughing, "This is how I will always remember Cecil, because I was always happy in his presence." This is why Cecil had many good friends in his life; he knew how to have fun. The last year had been difficult but he never lost his crazy sense of humor.

Cecil was one of a kind. His family and friends will miss him dearly. Rest in peace.

More information will follow about a celebration of Cecil's life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Cholangio Carcinoma Foundation at https://cholangiocarcinoma.org/ in Cecil's memory.

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