Sheriff Virgil Douglas “Skipper” Miller, age 69, of Buckhannon, died on Monday, April 3, 2023, at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.
He was born on October 18, 1953, in Webster Springs, a son of the late Virgil E. Miller and Nadine Virginia Knight. He was united in marriage on December 28, 1991, to Susan K. Carter Miller who survives. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons: Shawn Miller of Philippi, Shane Miller and wife Pamela of Belington, and Tyler L. Miller and wife Kodi of Rock Cave; two stepdaughters: Tara Hughes and husband Chris of New Bern, North Carolina and Toni Kiser and husband Scott of New Orleans, LA; nine grandchildren: Madisson, Corey, and Kaiden Miller, all of Buckhannon, Timothy “T.J.” Miller of Florida, Beverly Miller of Belington, Miner and Landree Miller of Rock Cave, and Addison and Avery Hughes of North Carolina; one great-grandson Jace Stokes; one brother Jack Miller and wife Dreama of Madison, WV; and two sisters: Martha McCourt and Anna Marie Lehman, both of Webster Springs.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers: Jessie Lloyd Miller and Charles Edward Miller; and one sister Stella Lee Riffle.
Virgil attended and was a strong supporter of the Heaston United Methodist Church at Hodgesville. He served in the United States Army as military police and was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. He was a well-known and respected Sheriff throughout WV and was an executive board member of the WV Sheriffs’ Association. He served on the board of the French Creek Disabled American Veterans Chapter 36 and was a member of the Buckhannon Elks Lodge 1736.
Sheriff Miller served West Virginia communities for more than forty years in various roles. He began public service with the Webster County Sheriff’s Office in 1977, for three years before coming to Upshur County in 1980, where he served as chief deputy for eight years, during which time he was very active with the WV Deputy Sheriffs’ Association. This was followed by his election as Sheriff for two terms (8 years) from 1989-1996. Being term-limited to two consecutive terms, he could not run for a third consecutive term.
He continued public service by then serving as Magistrate in Upshur County for five years. He left his magistrate role and returned to law enforcement as chief of the Buckhannon Police Department for three years and was then elected sheriff again for two more terms (8 years) from 2005-2012, after which he was bestowed a Lifetime Membership with the WV Sheriffs’ Association for his unwavering service to the State. He remained with the Sheriff’s Office as Chief Deputy for Sheriff Dave Coffman for three years.
He then retired, but in January 2019, he went back to his law enforcement calling, working as a deputy sheriff in the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office for a year and a half. In 2020, Sheriff Miller ran unopposed and was elected to his 5th term as Sheriff of Upshur County, making him the longest serving active Sheriff in West Virginia. Governor Jim Justice recognized Miller for his longevity in October 2021, with a certificate of recognition for his dedication.
Sheriff Miller will certainly be remembered for his dedication to his calling as a law enforcement officer and as a Sheriff. The citizens of West Virginia were better because of the service and dedication he had to them and his fellow sheriffs, deputies, and officers regardless of the color of uniform. We lost a great man, great sheriff, and great friend.
Friends will be received at the Wesley Chapel on the campus of West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon, WV on Friday, April 7, 2023, from 11:00 AM-7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at Wesley Chapel on Saturday, April 8, 2023, at 10:00 AM, with Pastors Josie Tenney and Bryan Sinclair officiating. Interment will follow in the Hacker Valley Cemetery in Webster County. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the French Creek DAV Chapter 36 at 2191 Alexander Rd., French Creek, WV 26218.
Online condolences may be extended to the Miller family at www.heavnerandcutright.com. The Heavner & Cutright Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the family of Sheriff Virgil D. Miller.