B.B. Miller was born May 5, 1911, and passed on Oct. 18, 2013.
He was a first-generation American, born in Chicago, Ill. He moved to Los Angeles as a young boy, attended Malabar Grade School, Roosevelt High School and USC, where he became a lifelong Trojan fan. One of his most poignant USC memories was stealing a seat next to Notre Dame’s coach Knute Rockne and yelling like hell for the Cardinal and Gold. This exuberance and enthusiasm lasted until viewing his final 2013 game against Arizona, USC’s first win with Coach Orgeron.
B.B.’s aptitude and skill with machinery made him a necessary figure on the home front, supplying the World War II cogs of war running properly. After the war, B.B. started his own forklift manufacturing plant, The BB Miller Forklift Co. in Los Angeles.
B.B. also spent his life with his beloved dogs. Perhaps his favorite, Gilmore, saved him from a gun-wielding attacker while in his 20s. Gilmore would also take a bag containing a grocery list and money to the market. With the help of the grocer, Gilmore would return, bag in mouth containing the items and change, strutting proud as a peacock. Other beloved companions were Bobo, Benji, Pepe, Molly, Kiya and Bowline. B.B. has crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is with most of them now.
After reading “Mutiny on the Bounty” circa 1942, he bought a 1928, 36-foot gaff-rigged sailboat that he berthed in Santa Barbara harbor in the early 1950s and the BB Lo made many a safe crossing between Santa Cruz Island and the mainland.
Sun Valley, Idaho, appeared on his radar screen in the mid 1950s and purchasing a house in Ketchum as a second home and enjoying all the valley has to offer for the next five decades was as much a passion as was the sea. He lived by the sea most of his life. As a testament to the bounty of nature’s force within us and outside us, B.B. honored the wind as well, naming his daughter Westerly for his treasured wind. He perched his homes above the water to invite the marriage of water and air in his every day. He resided on the Mesa in Santa Barbara for the last 22 years of his life.
So in his passing on the 18th of October, the number that represents Life in Judaism, as well as good fortune, it offers us another opportunity to consider his life an endless testimony to life itself. We will remember him as a potent force. We miss him.
B.B. is survived by his wife of 53 years, Loni; sons Harris and Marlin; daughters, Isabel, Debby, Westerly; grandchildren Michelle Lindner, Brett Bloom, Melissa Cohen. Melinda Viren; and four great-grandchildren, Ella and Jake Bloom, Jade and Sophia Lindner.
A private commemorative gathering was held Oct. 23 at the family home.