Clyde E. Miller was born September 29, 1917 and died at home on March 31, 2012.He was the elder of two sons born to Cora (Mertz) and Roy Miller in Downers Grove, Illinois. He began learning to play French horn in the 7th grade and by his high school years was consistently winning honors as soloist for 4 years at the state level and 2 years at the national level, as a member of the woodwind quintet for 3 years at the state level and 2 years at the national level.The first horn he owned was the horn he kept until his 80th year when he sold all his horns and gave up practicing.
He graduated from Downers Grove High School and then attended Northwestern University on a scholarship. Following graduation in 1940 he joined the Indianapolis Symphony and also taught at Butler Conservatory from 1940-41. In the summer he played with the Chicago Grant Park Orchestra until he was drafted into the army.For most of the war he was stationed in Ft. Meyer, Virginia.As part of the honors detachment he played in the cortege for FDR’s funeral. Following W.W.II, he went to NYC where he entered Columbia University. While there he also played in the NYC Ballet, the National Orchestra Association, and was extra for the Metropolitan Opera. After receiving his master’s in 1947, he free-lanced until fall, 1948 when he moved to Texas as principal horn of the Dallas Symphony where he remained for 16 seasons.
In fall, 1964 he became NTSU’s (now UNT) first full-time horn teacher. He remained there until retirement in August 1983.
Clyde married Peggy Frager in December, 1949 and had two daughters, Debbie and Pam, from this union. In January, 1968 he married Patricia Swiercinsky with whom he recently celebrated 44 years. After retirement, he and Pat had two years of active travel with Eastern Airlines “Get-Up-and Go” package. They enjoyed concert-going and attending plays. He had been a mallwalker since 1993 and until the day he was admitted to the hospital.
Clyde was a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Pi Kappa Lambda during college. Later, he joined Phi Mu Alpha, and the International Horn Society (lifetime member). He was also a Life Member of the Musicians Unions in Chicago (nearly 74 years) and Dallas/Ft.Worth. For many years he was a member of GDAC, DCT, and MTD here in Denton.Clyde joined First Presbyterian Church in January, 1965 where he had served as an elder. For several years as a caregiver he enjoyed visiting shut-ins. He has remained an active member. A memorial service will be held Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Denton.
He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Gail and niece Sharyn. He leaves to mourn his passing his wife, Pat, his daughter Debbie (and Larry) Pickerell, Pam (and Tom) White, seven grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren
The family expresses gratitude to the Hospice staff and numerous friends and family.Memorials may be made to: Memorial Fund of First Presbyterian Church, or the Endowed Clyde Miller Horn Scholarship@ College of Music, University of North Texas.