Dr. Charles A. Miller, a long-term native of New Iberia, passed away after a two-week battle with COVID pneumonia at the age of 96.
For the past 11 years, Dr. Miller resided in Gainesville, Georgia, with his son Kent G. Miller, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. and his family on his son’s farm.
Dr. Miller was born and raised in Chataignier in Evangeline Parish. He graduated from Chataignier High School. He then attended and graduated from USL in Lafayette. When World War II was declared, Dr. Miller entered the Navy. After the war, he enrolled at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge and obtained his Master’s Degree. Over the next three years, Dr. Miller obtained a double Ph.D. from LSU (a Ph.D. in Agronomy coupled with a Ph.D. in Horticulture).
Dr. Miller married Felecie Cutrera and had one son, Kent. While working as a County Agent and a District Agent for LSU Cooperative Extension Service, he worked with both LSU and the USAID and traveled extensively to 26 different foreign countries in need of food production. Dr. Miller was stationed in each country for six to nine months while he determined appropriate crops for the climate and taught locals agricultural skills necessary to survive in their location. In between foreign assignments, Dr. Miller was an influential and renowned figure in the development and expansion of the 4-H Club and the Sugar Cane Industry in southern Louisiana.
When his wife, Felecie, became ill, Dr. Miller took her to Gainesville, Georgia, where their son Kent is an OB/GYN physician. When Felecie transitioned into a nursing home, Dr. Miller took care of her every day, staying with and caring for her 12 to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for five and a half years. Dr. Miller never missed a single day of taking care of Felecie while she was in the nursing home, despite being in his 80s at the time.
On September 28, 2018, Dr. Miller was honored for his work with the Sugar Cane Industry and 4-H Clubs by having the Sugar Cane Festival Building in New Iberia dedicated to him. He received this honor as a result of his lifelong dedication to the farmers of the area, the sugar industry, and the development of youth in Louisiana through his devoted work with the 4-H Club Program. Dr. Miller dedicated his service to south Louisiana parishes for over 50 years, helping to change the lives of so many. The dedication of the Sugar Cane Festival Building was one of the greatest honors that Dr. Miller received during his lifetime.
Dr. Miller still owns a home and property in New Iberia and still has family and a myriad of friends there.
Dr. Miller, a devout Catholic, dedicated his life to putting his faith in God and his family first and he conveyed this philosophy to his son and each of his grandchildren.
Dr. Miller was preceded in death by his wife, Felecie.
He is survived by his son Kent G. Miller, M.D.; Kent’s wife, Melissa; his grandchildren Alexa M. Pisczak, Esq. and her husband, Julian, Kent J. Miller, Esq., Austinn C. Miller, M.D., Amalie C. Miller and her husband, Anthony Carrino, Elliana E. Miller, Kacey T. Buercklin and Steven P. Buercklin; his niece Gayle Romero Ferguson; and his nephew Ronald Cutrera.
Dr. Miller will be laid to rest with his wife after a private ceremony at Holy Family Cemetery in New Iberia.
In lieu of flowers, Dr. Miller requested that a fund be established for planting several trees in his honor and for offering Catholic masses in his honor. Any donations may be sent to “In Memory of Dr. Charles A. Miller” at P.O. Box 3363, Gainesville, Georgia 30503.