AUSTIN EDITION Serving his town was joy

Former fire chief will be remembered for his humor and humility

By Amy Olson

Former Austin Fire Chief A. Daniel Miller served his community for more than 40 years. On Wednesday, friends and family will say goodbye to the quiet man known for his dry sense of humor and his dedication to community.

Miller, 79, was an Austin firefighter for 46 years, serving 23 as chief, said current Chief Dan Wilson.


He was found dead Sunday evening after a concerned neighbor went to his northeast Austin home.

Arden King, a former lieutenant at the fire department, said Miller was captain of his shift when he became a firefighter in 1969. He described Miller as a talented firefighter who was knowledgeable in medicine and a certified Red Cross instructor.

"He was an incredible firefighter," King said.

King said Miller was also a patient man and a lenient boss, who tolerated pranks from younger staff members.

And he didn't always stay on the sidelines of practical jokes.

Tired of one firefighter always filling his boots with water, King said Miller told the firefighter to get in a truck, roll down the windows and take all the window cranks and door handles off. The unsuspecting firefighter complied; when he did, Miller grabbed a fire hose and doused him.

"That truck was dripping for three days," King said.

Miller's son, Dana, remembered his father's love for jokes, too.


"He loved a good prank," Dana Miller said, adding his father could "dish out as much as he received, with his own style and grace."

Describing him as a quiet man, Dana Miller said his father spent his entire career in the service of his community.

"He truly enjoyed it. It was one of the loves of his life," Dana Miller said.

After retiring, he said his father enjoyed reading, doing crossword puzzles, golfing and riding his bicycle. His passion for watching wrestling continued, too.

Dana Miller recalls watching wrestling matches at the Austin Armory with his dad, noting his father also enjoyed WWF wrestling on television and would leave holiday gatherings to watch.

"There was just no way you could talk him out of it," Dana Miller said.

King said Miller will be missed from monthly get-togethers of the retired firefighters.

"We were all close. We were all like family," King said.


Visitation for Miller will be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary in Austin. The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

Turn to Page 2B for A. Daniel Miller's complete obituary.

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