GOSHEN — It has been a year since Goshen College professor Jim Miller was killed in his home, but people gathered at Tuesday afternoon’s remembrance ceremony at the college to remember his life.
Students, faculty and friends gathered at the prayer labyrinth near the Music Center for the one-year anniversary of Miller’s death. They wore pins that said “Remembered with love Jim Miller” with a photo of his face.
Bob Yoder, campus minister, opened the ceremony with a short introduction. He said that Miller was “a life that has been deeply missed.” Former Goshen College president Dr. Victor Stoltzfus spoke at the ceremony since president James Brenneman could not be there.
“Still, we are grateful to have known Jim,” Stoltzfus said in the prayer he gave that Brenneman wrote.
Indigo Miller, a student of Jim Miller’s for four semesters, said he was one of the first professors she had at Goshen College. He was known for his detailed lectures and multiple-choice tests, but also for the comic strips and jokes he infused into lectures.
She was scheduled to have one more class with Miller in the spring of 2012 and had been a teaching assistant for one of his labs. He would help anyone with questions and make sure that his students understood the information. She said she would remember his dedication for his students and was grateful for what he gave her and other students.
“He had a very open-door policy,” Indigo Miller said.
Goshen College student Peter Martin credited Miller for getting him an interview for med school. Miller and Martin frequently met for lunch, including the Friday before his death.
Miller was “totally invested in his family and students,” Martin said.
Clinton Frame Mennonite Church lead pastor Terry Diener said that Miller had been a member for about a year. The Miller family came every Sunday.
“We miss his quiet presence and quick smile,” he said.
His family, including wife Linda Miller, children, mother and sister, were in attendance. Linda Miller said that while Tuesday was difficult, last Saturday was harder. She was alone at home and called police and asked for extra patrols.
“I’m more concerned with us,” than the killer, she said.
She is always in contact with the police, whether it’s her calling them with information and questions or them calling her with questions. Miller’s death is still unsolved.
Linda Miller said she is hoping for more joy and more laughter in her house. She said they always had a dictionary at the dinner table so the family could check a fact.
“We will eventually return to some kind of normalcy,” she said. She goes to a grief support group and credits her church family with helping her cope, as well as all the people who are praying for her. She is a pastor at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church.
“I try to think about Jim and not the incident,” she said.