Today, (January 15, 2021) I join all Marylanders in mourning the passing of a champion of the Senate of Maryland, Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.
Mike was a family man, and his Senate family joins his family in mourning his passing. For over 50 years, Mike served the people of Maryland in the General Assembly – first as a staffer to the Prince George’s County Delegation; then as a member of the House of Delegates, a member of the Senate, Chair of the Judicial Proceedings Committee; and for 32 years, as President of the Maryland Senate. He concluded this extraordinary period of service as Senate President Emeritus.
It is impossible to think of the Maryland Senate and not think of Mike – not just because of his historical longevity – but because each member of the Senate has his or her own Mike story. Whether it’s the Senator who he quietly consoled through family matters, the Senator who he mentored to compromise and pass legislation, or those who experienced the personal care of Mike to truly listen to their concerns. There are thousands of former Senators, Delegates, staffers, and constituents in the 27th District that he has impacted for the better, and who each have their own Mike Miller story. I expect we’ll hear many of them in the days and weeks ahead, and I hope the public will listen and get a glimpse of the impact Mike made.
Stepping down from the Senate was one of the most difficult decisions of Mike’s life. He wanted to be with his colleagues serving the people of the 27th District, but the physical burden was too much to bear. So, Senator Miller – demonstrating what he had preached so often – stepped down to make sure his district could have the best representation possible. This may have seemed like a small sacrifice to the outside world, but anybody who knew Mike knew the decision did not come easy. It came only from love for the Senate, the State of Maryland, and its people.
At his core, Mike was who you saw. He was a hard worker, he was ethical, and he brought love of policy areas – especially education and the Chesapeake Bay – to the Senate. As a result of his tenacity and spirit, he was able to shepherd vitally important legislation to the Senate floor, through the House, and to the Governor for signature.
Mike would often talk to whoever would listen about how lucky he was to have such a supportive family, and my heart breaks for his wife Patti, his children Tommy, Amanda, Michelle, Melissa, and Melanie, his 15 grandchildren, and his large extended family – including those who were related, but also to those of us who were lucky to know him as family. We all mourn his passage and celebrate his life together.
On this day of his passing, let it be known, Senator Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. spent every single day of his life as a public servant working as hard as possible to ensure others had the ability and means to live a life with purpose, just as he did his.