Dr. Donald N. “Donnie” Miller II, 78, of Shippensburg, passed away Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, at Brookview Health Care Center, Chambersburg.
He was born July 8, 1943, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Donnie was a son of the late Donald N. and Edith (Reohr) Miller.
He was a 1961 graduate of the Susquehanna Township High School, earned a Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Health and Physical Education in 1965, his Master’s degree from West Chester University in Health and Physical Education in 1971, and his PhD from Penn State University in Health Education in 1982.
In college, Donnie was a PSU Football Letterman. After college, he taught in the Altoona School District, then at John Harris High School, where he also coached football and wrestling. Donnie came to Shippensburg in 1969, and was the assistant football coach. From 1969-2005, Donnie was a professor at Shippensburg State Teachers College (Shippensburg University) in the Health and Physical Education Department. From 1970-1974 he was the Blue Mountain Swim Team Coach, Harrisburg, and in 1973, he was the Head Coach and founder of the Shippensburg Aquatic Club, which still exists today.
From 1972-1992, he was Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Team. While Donnie was coaching, he earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America, Level 5 Certification (highest level in college coaching of swimming), was a four-time PSAC College Swim Coach of the Year winner, and recorded 235 wins at S.U. His swimmers and divers were PSAC State Champions more than 50 times, with 25-plus State Records. His swimmers won 13 individual events at the Division 2 National Swimming Championships. Donnie’s swimmers set five national records at the D2 National Swim Championships. His men’s team won the PSAC Championships twice, placed in the top 10 as a nation eight times and placed in the top four as a nation two times (1989 and 1991).
In 1992, the natatorium in Heiges Field House was renamed the Donald N. Miller Pool. From 1982 to 1992, he was Director of the summer swim camps at S.U. In 2006, Donnie was inducted in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, South Central Chapter, and in 2009, he was inducted in the Shippensburg University Hall of Fame.
Donnie absolutely loved teaching. He positively influenced many student-athletes. Donnie was an active volunteer in the Shippensburg Kiwanis Club, and received the Hixon Award, which is one of the highest honors bestowed on a Kiwanis member. He volunteered at the Luhrs Center for over a decade and was a faithful blood donor to the American Red Cross. Donnie enjoyed watching all Penn State sports teams compete, and in the fall he could be found watching the Nittany Lions compete in Happy Valley, and on road trips, especially the bowl games. He was an avid New York Yankee fan, enjoyed playing cards, especially poker, loved playing golf and being very social. Donnie was an active member of Christ United Methodist Church. He loved playing with his grandkids, and watching and supporting them in their sporting events and activities. Donnie had a great sense of humor with his “Poppy Jokes” as his grandkids called them.
Donnie is survived by his wife of 53 years, Linda Jo (Kegris) Miller; one daughter, Krista Miller Ober and her husband, Shawn, of Lititz; one son, Donnie Miller and his wife, Meghan (Pavone), of Chambersburg; four grandchildren, Lauryn and Jenna Ober of Lititz, and Gavin and Landon Miller of Chambersburg; two brothers, Dennis Miller and his wife, Lynn, and Darrell Miller and his wife, Ninette, all of Harrisburg; a sister-in-law, Carol Miller of Florida; two brothers-in-law, Robert L. Kegris Jr. and David Kegris and his wife, Diana, all of Harrisburg; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Duane Miller.
A celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Old Main Chapel at Shippensburg University Shippensburg. Officiating will be The Rev. Dr. Francis H. Norton. Private burial will be in the Spring Hill Cemetery. Visitation will immediately follow the service in the Shippensburg University Conference Center. Face masks will be required at all indoor facilities at Shippensburg University.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shippensburg University Foundation, 500 Newburg Road, Shippensburg, Pa. 17257. In the memo line, please write: SU Foundation/Donnie Miller Swimming Scholarship.
The family would like to express their special thanks to Menno Haven’s Brookview Health Care Center and to Grane Hospice Care.
Online condolences may be expressed at: www.fogelsanger-brickerfuneralhome.com.