1917 - 1973
Born to Charles and Hilda Miller in Pateros in 1917, Mr. Miller grew up in the farming community of Pateros assisting his family in their apple orchard. Following his graduation from high school, he attended Washington State University graduating in 1941 with a degree in horticulture. Mr. Miller returned to Okanogan County to begin plying his trade until the day of the Pearl Harbor attack when he quickly volunteered for the Air Force. During his tour of duty he completed 47 missions in a B24.
Mr. Miller was employed by Northwest Wholesale, Inc. in Brewster at the time of his death in 1973. As an orchardist himself, he frequently tried new practices on his own orchard, and if they worked, he adopted them for other growers. He was noted for stretching the spray dollar without sacrificing control.
Charles J. Miller was a supreme horticulturist, outstanding fieldman, a friend and a leader of Washington fruit growers. Mr. Miller believed that traveling to orchard areas in this great land and in foreign countries was an important part of his service to fruit growers. Through such travel he gained ideas and experiences which were helpful to horticulture.
Mr. Miller was survived by his wife Jean, and two sons, Marshall and Mark.
To carry on his search for knowledge, Mrs. Miller and family established the Charles Miller Travel Fund to encourage travel with the purpose of increasing knowledge of new fruit production and handling techniques. Additional contributions to this fund have been made throughout the years by the North Central Washington Fieldmen’s Association. The award is presented every other year during the Washington State Horticultural Association annual meeting to an industry member who plans to travel abroad or to a different fruit growing region within the United States and return to the industry with new knowledge.