Clarence “C.A.” Adam Miller, Jr.

Published 12:01 am Sunday, April 10, 2022

C.A. Miller, Jr. passed from this life on April 4, 2022.
Born to Clarence and Bertha Miller July 4th, 1930, at their home in Creole, Cameron Parish, Louisiana. A sixth generation descendent of Cameron Parish pioneer families, his father’s family traced their French and German ancestry to Alsace-Lorraine, France. His mother’s family included the Desormeaux family from France and the Rodriguez family from Spain. He grew up in Creole on his grandfather John Miller’s homestead. “Mr. Johnny” was a cattleman and a businessman, serving as Sheriff of Cameron Parish in the 1920s and 1930s. His father, Clarence Miller, Sr. was also a cattleman and an accountant. He served as Cameron Parish Treasurer, working on the committee to establish the permanent Parish Courthouse which still survives today in the town of Cameron, as well as the developer of the first electricity plant CO-OP, in Cameron Parish.
C.A. attended McNeese Junior College at 17 years old, transferring to LSU after one year, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree and served in ROTC. He entered the United States Army in 1953, during the Korean War, and served his tour of duty as a Lieutenant, assigned to Salzburg, Austria., with the engineering division. He returned home early, upon his father’s unexpected death, and continued his education at Tulane University graduating from the School of Law in June 1957, with full scholarship, Order of the Coif, and Juris Doctorate. C.A. also served as President of his Law school freshman class, and as Law Clerk for Judge Tate, during this time.
That same month in 1957, as he was preparing to open his practice in Cameron, in the old Customs House building that his grandfather owned, Hurricane Audrey hit the Cameron Parish Coast with a ferocity unequalled at that time and destroyed everything in its path. His family, and the surrounding families, lost their homesteads, including their houses and barns. Cattle, horses and other farm animals all perished. Over 500 lives were lost, during Hurricane Audrey. It was a devastating irreplaceable loss to many families, and life-changing for C.A. and his remaining family. The Customs House, to be C.A.’s law office, was gone with the hurricane.
Lake Charles attorney, Joe Tritico helped C. A. set up a law office in his building, in Lake Charles, and told him to get to work, that the people of Cameron needed his help to rebuild the Parish. To this day, C.A. has the greatest respect and gratitude for Joe Tritico and Vance Plauche’. Both lawyers mentored him and guided his decision to specialize in Estate Planning and Probate law, and Oil & Gas Law representing landowners of Cameron Parish.
C.A. continued his practice uninterrupted for fifty years receiving his 50 Year Louisiana State Bar Association Certificate in 2007. When he & Maureen moved to Austin, Texas to be closer to their grandchildren, he also studied to pass the State Bar of Texas, in the top 1%, and was admitted to practice law in Texas in 2004, at the age of seventy-four. His three grandchildren, Nicole, Ryan and Andy, daughter Melissa and son-in-law, Scott, were there with wife Maureen, to see their “Papa” sworn in by Wallis B. Jefferson, Chief Justice of the Texas State Supreme Court.
C.A. had many interests during his lifetime including hunting, deep sea fishing, snow skiing, traveling, and a deep fascination with sailing. And the greatest lifelong interest was music. C.A. played piano, trumpet and later drums. Playing the piano was at the heart of his talent and he continued playing, by ear, all his life. Jazz was a style he particularly studied and enjoyed. As a young lawyer, Jazz band jam sessions with friends were a regular Friday night affair. At LSU he had played the trumpet in the band, and he continued that as his interest in Jazz grew. Later, as a family man and father, he would teach his daughter Melissa, his son Mark, grandson Ryan and several nieces and nephews, some of his favorite boogies on the piano, as well as teaching his son John to play drums. Everyone loved to hear him play the Jazz piano at family gatherings.
C.A. contributed to his community of Lake Charles and Creole with many projects. He developed the first central water system for Creole, La., which brought fire protection and clean water to the community. He served on the Modernizing Local Government Committee in Lake Charles, which worked to bring changes to the City government and Police Jury systems. He prepared the first Articles of Incorporation for the Lake Charles Civic Symphony, whose conductor, Bill Kushner, was a lifelong friend. He was a member of the YMBC, Young Men’s Business Club. He and his wife were active in the Diocese of the Catholic Church, teaching pre-marriage classes for over eight years, to young couples ready to marry. C.A. served as a delegate to the Diocesan Synod for the Vatican Council, convened by Pope John XXIII. For fun, C.A. enjoyed being the founding President of The Bachelor’s Club, a social gathering for single people in the late 50s. He was a charter member of the first Mardi Gras Krewe in Lake Charles, the Krewe of Contraband, founded in the 60s, by Sammy Navarra.
Sailing was his true passion and he sought additional knowledge through United States Power Squadrons USPS, a national boating safety and education organization where he gained Junior Navigator status. He gave over 25 years of service to the organization, serving as Squadron Commander, District 21 Commander, National Law Officer and National Chairman of Rules. C.A.’s position on the National Operating Committee extended over a decade. He considered this his contribution to a cause he believed in and benefitted from. He was an accomplished yachtsman, chartering bareboat 45’ and 50’and 55’ sailboats in the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands, Chesapeake Bay, Galveston and the Gulf Coast to Destin, Florida. C.A. also explored the British Virgin Islands, and the American Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. John. He kept his personal sailboat either in Lake Charles, La. or Kemah, Texas.
Traveling was a lifetime pursuit. From his initial visit to Salzburg, Austria, as a young Army Lieutenant, to learning to snow ski in Kitzbuhel, Tyrol, Austria, C.A. loved the experiences travel gave him. He and his wife Maureen were married in Sculthorpe AFB near Norwich, England at Christmastime. They honeymooned in Paris for New Year’s Eve. Then they were on to Madrid, Spain and finally to Majorca, an island off the coast of Spain. After the children were born, traveling was geared toward educating the children about the United States, its natural beauty and its great Cities. Winter snow skiing in Vail, Colorado, camping and fishing at Maroon Bells, in the Rocky Mountains, canoe trips on the National Buffalo River in Arkansas, whitewater rafting in the Snake River Canyon in Idaho, visiting the Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone in their motor home, “The Green Machine”. C.A. shared his love of sailing with the family with bare boating sailing trips to the BVI’s. and the American Virgin Islands. After the family was grown, C.A. continued his travels with Maureen, who each received Certificates of completion for studies of Palladian Architecture in Italy, and The Townhouses of Paris, in France.
C.A. treasured living and learning had an adventurous spirit. His love of family was the most important thing in his life. He and Maureen Ann Talbot married in 1961 and raised three children: daughter, Melissa Miller Greenwell and husband Scott, their children, Nicole and husband Christopher Kelley, Ryan and wife Nicole Givin Greenwell, and Andy Greenwell; son, John Talbot Miller (J.T.) and wife Rebecca; son, Mark Adam Miller and wife Jennifer, their daughter Sarah Olivia. C.A. treasured this family, was committed to each of them, seeing the unique talents and abilities each one exhibited. He was supportive, encouraging, humorous, exhibiting a steady love, as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather, as a friend. He leaves this world to continue his joyful journey, and his family to celebrate his spirit and his happy life. Amen.
Private funeral Mass will be celebrated by the family at Immaculate Conception Cathedral with burial at Orange Grove Cemetery, timely to the family gathering.
Service details overseen by Johnson Funeral Home.
The family thanks Heart of Hospice and their amazing team for assisted dying at home, including Sherie Chandler, RN, Julie Miller, LCSW, Nneka Leblanc and Kim Henney, nurses aides, and our helpful and compassionate sitter, Eugenie Tullos.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to one’s charity of choice, to Immaculate Conception Cathedral Restoration Fund, to Tulane University Law School, and to Hobo Hotel.

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