|Birth: ||Oct. 8, 1914|
|Death: ||Dec. 19, 2003|
Fountain Fox MILLER, III, always known as Fox MILLER, was the son of Fountain Fox & Zula May (KINNARD) MILLER, II and the grandson of Fountain Fox & Florence (WARDEN) MILLER, I and Kennedy S.M. & Marguerite Luella (POLLY) KINNARD. After he lost his father in 1921 when he was age 7, he was raised by his mother only until her 1928 re-marriage to Wayne Arthur McDANIEL.
After graduation from Woodrow Wilson High School In Dallas, Fox enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin, where he took pre-medical classes from 1932 to 35. Even though the tuition was only $15 per semester, financial considerations found him working for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas for the period from 1935 to 1939. Having quickly discovered that was not his calling, he returned to UT-Austin in the Spring of 1939 for some final pre-med courses, leading to his acceptance at Baylor University Medical School, then located in Dallas. He was awarded his M.D. degree on May 31, 1943.
He was married to Mary Jane McINERNEY, daughter of John Raymond & Lela Josephine (O'RILEY) McINERNEY on June 4, 1943 in Dallas. They moved to Memphis, Tennessee for his internship at Baptist Memorial Hospital there. Their first child James Gerald MILLER was born there on March 6, 1944.
As a member of THE GREATEST GENERATION, he next answered the call of the U.S. Army, serving as a Medical Officer at the 373rd and 204th General Hospitals on Guam, Mariana Islands in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946.
Following his return to civilian life in 1946, he accepted a preceptorship under Dr. Bedford Shelmire at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. It was during this 1946-49 period that the 4th member of the family arrived when Mary Kathleen MILLER was born on July 20, 1947. The next step was his Residency in Dermatology at Columbia University in New York City (1949-50). The family lived a little north of NYC at Orangeburg, New York.
The final move was almost back to Texas, where most all of his and Mary Jane's families were from. However, they decided on a move to Memphis, Tennessee, where Fox's mother and step-father were then living. Fox "hung out his shingle" to begin his dermatology practice in 1950 and did not take it down until his retirement on December 1, 1988. During the early part of this period the 5th and final member of the family came along, when Stephen Kinnard MILLER was born on August 16, 1954.
In addition to his strong commitment to his medical practice, Fox enjoyed fishing, playing golf, bird watching, gourmet cooking, his "golf-group" and "dinner-club" friends, reading, travelling, quoting Shakespeare, and otherwise enjoying life to the fullest.
Following 15 wonderful years of retirement with his life-partner Mary Jane, Fox slipped down in his favorite chair and died peacefully from a ventricular fibrillation in the presence of his wife and older son on December 19, 2003. He would not have scripted his departure any differently.
THE FOLLOWING WONDERFUL EULOGY WAS PREPARED AND READ BY DR. MILLER'S SON-IN-LAW ROBERT VAUGHAN ROZELLE AT THE FUNERAL SERVICE ON DECEMBER 22, 2003:
I first met Dr. Miller on December 23, 1979. Kathleen had invited me to Memphis, for Christmas, to meet her family. After driving eight hours, first through heavy rains in East Texas, and then snow flurries in Arkansas, I was relieved -- and exhausted -- when we arrived at 11 0' clock at night, at the Miller residence on South Angela. Much to my surprise -- and undying gratitude -- as we walked to the door, a booming voice rang out: "Ahoy, my boy! The drinking lamp is lit!" I knew instantly that this was someone to remember. And so he was. Of course, the pimento cheese spread, shrimp remoulade, and homemade bread sealed the deal. I was a prospect who soon became a son-in-law.
We all know that Dr. Fountain Fox Miller III orchestrated -- with thoughtful preparation and exquisite timing, with style, wit and grace -- everything and everyone in the world around him. Being an actor at heart, he was, of course, at the center of that universe. As he himself liked to quote -- from Mister Shakespeare, naturally -- "All the world's a stage." And so it was, for anyone fortunate enough to find himself in Fox Miller's radiant spotlight.
Dr. Miller was a Renaissance Man in today's Modern World. He was an aspiring actor and doctor in training when he served as a Captain in the Army, stationed in Guam, during World War II. He subsequently became a dedicated and widely respected physician, a dermatologist with soul in the South, who dispensed more common sense, compassion and humor, I think, than medicine. Always an Eagle Scout, Fox became a world traveler. An accomplished chef and enthusiastic gardener. An avid fisherman and competitive golfer -- to the very end -- with a support group that included a Pig and a Duckee, a Mouse and a Fox. A Doctor D., too. Try to think of another doctor who bakes his own bread and can cook a pear flambé, or can tell the difference between a petunia and a pansy. Name another person -- just one individual -- who can sing Handel's "Messiah", tie expert fishing flies, correctly identify a Gold Finch from a Painted Bunting, almost shoot his age in golf, and recite, from memory, a dozen Shakespearean soliloquies. Dr. Miller could. And Fox did everything with military precision and a gleeful glint in his eye. From dressing -- and naming -- a turkey, to prepping for one of his frequent, much loved overseas travels. Who else do you know who would memorize the poem, "Gray's Elegy" - and then make a pilgrimage to backwater Stoke Poges, in England, just to visit the graveyard which inspired the poet?
Yes, Fox Miller was a man of gargantuan appetites, with an enormous passion for life. Did anyone here ever see the wily Fox decline a second helping of dessert, especially if it was one of his own concoctions? Another doctor of letters, Samuel Johnson, once wrote: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." Fox loved London, too, but his interests were more all encompassing. "The world was his oyster" and he explored it until the very end. His curiosity was boundless; his intellect and aptitude for learning were awesome. He read voraciously, about all subjects, cultures, and people, both real and imagined, from Somerset Maugham to Stephen Ambrose, from Lady Macbeth to Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." Fox's love of Shakespeare's "Henry V" (from which he memorized the famous St. Crispin's Day speech) led him, afterwards, to read about and study the stirring Battle of Agincourt, fought in the 1400's. Then, of course, he led his wife Mary Jane on a trek to Europe, naturally -- to personally inspect the battlefield itself. Fox pursued bird watching and classical music, photography and cooking, and his latest passion, English gardening; he approached all of them with a similar degree of intensity and a zeal for learning. The breadth of his interests was remarkable, the depth of his knowledge inspiring. And all of these activities and interests, his hobbies and his passions, he generously shared with others -- from family and friends, to peers and new acquaintances, from the oldest golfing buddy to the newest dinner club member, right down to the latest grandchild. Fox Miller's legacy of wide-ranging interests, then, now belongs to all of us.
But perhaps best remembered by most of us will be his incomparable sense of humor. Fox loved jokes -- all kinds and of varying degrees of political correctness -- and he loved both to tell and to hear them. His sense of humor ran the gamut, from W.C. Fields and Laurel and Hardy, to sophisticated puns in obscure Elizabethan sonnets. Nor was his audience confined to anyone age group. He relished a good joke with his golfing buddies or doctor friends, the more scandalous the better, but he also enjoyed entertaining the younger generation, our kids, bellowing out in his rich baritone voice, about the likes of "Barnaby the Sailor" and "Old McGuiness and McCarthy."
Dr. Fox Miller was a role model to many, both young and old alike. A devoted husband to Mary Jane Miller, for 60 years. An inspirational father to two sons, Gerald and Stephen Miller, and to a daughter, Kathleen Miller Rozelle, my wife. Fox has made an indelible impression on his daughters-in-law, Linda, with whom he sang "The Messiah" in the symphony chorus, and Livi, whose writing career he helped launch, and this son-in-law, whose admiration for Doc Fox grew unabated and immeasurably over the years. And who could ever top Doctor Fox Miller as an all-time role model -- for seven grandchildren, in order: Justin, Whit, Katy, Libba, Jane, Andy, and Bill, whose educational interests had become his most recent and ardent preoccupation. Wise Fox made a point to each of them by reciting Polonius's famous line from "Hamlet": "Neither a borrower nor lender be."
'Fox's passionate commitment to life -- and his love of people -- knew no boundaries. As Clare, his former nurse, said: "Fox is responsible for where I am in life today. He not only gave me a career, but he also showed me how to enjoy life." I'm sure that many of you here today -- can identify with -- and would maybe echo -- those sentiments.
From trout fishing and travel to world literature, from Bach and Beethoven to Faulkner and falconry, the Fox Trotter did, indeed, enjoy life. He was a jack of all trades and, unlike most of us, a master of most. Above all, Dr. Fox was a "fisher of men" -- reeling each one of us into his humane orbit -- for some kind of treatment, wise advice or simply fun interaction -- before releasing us back into our own lives, always the better, because of his interest on our behalf and his compassionate concern for our welfare.
Of all the people I know -- and have ever known, Dr. Fox Miller best embodied-¬in his personality and accomplishments, his compassion for others and his zest for life -- what Shakespeare surely had in mind: "What a piece of work is man: how noble in reason! How infinite in faculties."
Here's to Fox Miller, a fountain of wit, wisdom and love. Aren't we lucky that he touched -- and enriched -- our lives, and that he walked -- and talked -- among us? We can only hope to embrace -- and celebrate -- Life, with as much gusto as he himself did. "Unmuzzle your wit!" he would say, and "This above all, to thine own self be true."
Dr. Fountain Fox Miller, you were one of a kind -- and we're going to miss you.
SPECIAL NOTE ON THE PROBABLE ORIGIN OF THE GIVEN NAMES FOUNTAIN FOX IN THE MILLER FAMILY, FROM JAMES GERALD MILLER THE SON, GRANDSON, and GREAT, GRANDSON of the FOUNTAIN FOX MILLERS:
My great grandfather was Fountain Fox Miller I. He was born November 7, 1850 in Monticello, Wayne County, Kentucky. I have wondered since I began pursuing genealogy as a hobby 40 years ago last month (April 1974) about the origin of his given names. This is more particularly meaningful for me because my father was Fountain Fox Miller III. I had previously discovered others among my distant relatives in the Wayne County, Kentucky area with the same names, e.g. Fountain Fox Cooper and at least one other whom I don't recall at present. I had heard suggestions that it may have come from a political cartoonist named Fontaine Fox who lived about that time. I think I've tried to find out more in the past but had no luck.
Yesterday (i.e., May 15, 2014), I was reading an article about the death of Mickey Rooney in the Irish Central e-newsletter. It included the comment: "Fontaine Fox had placed a newspaper ad for a dark-haired child to play the role of "Mickey McGuire" in a series of short films." That reference to Fontaine Fox re-triggered my interest in trying to find out the origin of my great, grandfather's name (as well as the names of my grandfather and father). I was fairly sure offhand that the cartoonist could not have been born early enough to have become prominent enough for my great, great, grandparents to have named their child after him in 1850.
After a little further searching via Google, I saw a reference to the cartoonist being Fontaine Fox Jr., so I figured I'd try to find out about his father. I realized that I had not tried Find-A-Grave in researching this. I think almost all of my prior efforts had involved searching for the name as my family spelled it, i.e., Fountain Fox. When I tried Fontaine Fox in Find-A-Grave, I hit the jackpot. I found (1) Judge Fontaine Talbot Fox (born 1803), (2) Fontaine T. Fox Sr (born 1836; he should actually be Jr, because he is the son of Judge Fontaine Talbot Fox); Fontaine Talbot Fox (born 1884; he is the son of FTF, Jr. and so is FTF, III); and (4) Fountaine D. Fox (born 1892; I'm not exactly sure where he might come in as yet). I also found 6 individuals searching for Fountain Fox. One of them was Fountaine T. Fox, the son of William Montgomery Fox.
I concentrated on the Fontaine Foxes I had found. I noted that three of the four were from within a 2 or 3 county area of Kentucky just north of Wayne County where my great, grandfather was from. Since my GGF was born in 1850, I discarded the 2 Fontaine Foxes born in 1884 and 1836. I then was left with the one born in 1803. When I opened his Find-A-Grave Memorial and found a very extensive write up about his life, I knew that I had found the individual who was most likely the person after whom my GGF, GF, and father were named. I felt as if a long-standing mystery had been solved.
I assumed that there was not any potential for a connection to my own Family Tree Maker database, so for interest sake to research the FOX family a little more, I began a new tree. After I'd entered about 50 names into this new tree, I came to the name Sophronia M. Coffey, the wife of William Montgomery Fox. I knew there were a lot of Coffeys among my family's Wayne County, Kentucky relations. I then read in Sophronia's FAG Memorial bio that her father Jesse Moore Coffey was from Wayne County, Kentucky. From there it took only a few more steps before I was able to merge my new FOX Family Tree into my main database. Granted the connection is fairly distant, but it is there nonetheless.
That merger increased my database to more than 14,700 names. I was delighted. I was particularly pleased that I had not only discovered the individual after whom 3 lineal ancestors, including my father, were named, but I had also incorporated them into my primary database.
Fountain Fox Miller (1884 - 1921)
Zula May Kinnard McDaniel (1886 - 1978)
Fountain Fox Miller (1914 - 2003)
Milton Kinnard Miller (1917 - 1936)*
Memorial Park Cemetery
Created by: Gerald Miller
Record added: Mar 01, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 106010790