Local Obituaries

Joe Miller, prominent Lexington attorney, dies at age 66

Joe Miller, a Lexington attorney who had a history of civic service, died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 66.

Mr. Miller, an attorney with Gess Mattingly & Atchison for almost 40 years, represented such organizations as the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and WLEX-TV. He served as board chairman for the Lexington Public Library and the Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning.

Mr. Miller graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law with honors in 1969 after receiving an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. He had remained in Lexington, his hometown, ever since.

At the funeral at Temple Adath Israel on Tuesday, Mr. Miller's son, Stephen Miller, said his father was a "rock star" in all aspects of his life — literally as a singer with a band in college and figuratively as a lawyer, in the Lexington community, in the Jewish community, in his hobbies and as a dad.

Stephen Miller said his father was instrumental in building the Central Library downtown.

Tim Sineath, a member of the advisory board at the Lexington Public Library, said Mr. Miller was a major contributor.

"His great contribution, I think, was that he always had the community user in mind," Sineath said. "He was an ardent critic of doing anything that would interfere with service."

Mr. Miller served on the library's board from 1978 to 2009 and was chairman from 1989 to 1990.

He was one of the founding board members of the Carnegie Center, according to the center's executive director, Jan Isenhour. He served on the center's board from 1990 to 2003, serving as chairman from 1993 to 2003.

Isenhour said Mr. Miller was "very thorough, very cautious and operated with a high level of integrity," and she said he was essential in helping the center "find its niche in the community."

Timothy Cone, managing partner at Gess Mattingly & Atchison, said that while Mr. Miller was an accomplished lawyer and civic activist, the main focus of his life was his family.

"All three children have been extremely successful," Cone said. "That was the one thing that he had the most interest in, was the well-being and future of his family."

Mr. Miller is survived by his wife, Suzanne; his son, Stephen; two daughters, Rebecca and Deborah; three grandchildren; and two sisters, Freda Miller and Samye Stith.

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