Jeffrey Bauder Miller, an artist and an environmentalist, passed peacefully in Muskoka Landing Huntsville on March 24, 2020 at the age of 88.
He leaves behind his sons Jeff Jr. and Paul. Jeff Sr. is predeceased by his son John and the mother of his sons Janet Denise Miller. Loved brother of Francis Delos Miller, better known as Stub (predeceased) & his wife Bobbi also much loved by sister Judy Brookby & her husband Harry. He is predeceased by his parents Francis and Martha Miller and his long-time companion, Dr. Barbara Fallis, whose love and clear intelligence propelled and guided their life together.
Born in New York in 1931, Jeff always attributed his long life to the polio epidemic in the summer of 1943 where he and his brother Stub were shipped out of harm's way to spend the summer at Camp Pathfinder in Algonquin Park Canada. It was here that Jeff connected deeply and fell in love with the beauty of Canadian wilderness, particularly Algonquin Park.
Inspired by adventure, teenage Jeff and Stub paddled the length of the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Manhattan in a rickety $15 canoe. Jeff graduated from Williams College and after serving in the US Airforce, moved to Toronto to work in the gas industry and to be closer to wilderness. He picked up a paintbrush after a visit to the Group of Seven Collection in the McMichael art gallery and his career as an artist began. For over 40 years, Jeff guided canoe trips which introduced people to the beauty and moods of nature. He inspired others to paint with intuition and spontaneity in the natural setting of Algonquin Park. Jeff started a program “Look, See, Paint” for groups and schoolchildren, which made them mindful of nature and gave permission to be an artist. Central to Jeff’s being was his dedication to the protection of our wilderness and ecosystem. Jeff was one of the founding members of the Algonquin Wildlands League, an organization dedicated to confronting the unchecked logging of Algonquin Park.
Jeff had a successful career as a landscape artist and his paintings have sold in prestigious galleries. He was part of the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour and a founding member of the Artists of the Limberlost where people would visit his Limberlost Studio, experience his art and hear the stories of ramblings, wild territories and quiet contemplations in a canoe. Jeff’s farmhouse studio became a hub of open conversation, debate, laughter and good cheer where everyone was welcomed to have a martini at the bar.
A Celebration of Life for Jeff will be held in the future post-pandemic world.
In Memory of Jeff, Donations to the Couchiching Conservancy or the Nature Conservancy of Canada would be appreciated and can be made through the Mundell Funeral Home, 79 West St. N., Orillia. Or since times are difficult for many at the moment consider something like the following- teach a child to paint, plant a tree, reduce your carbon footprint, sit quietly in the forest or at the edge of a river, or take time to discover the true colour of tree bark. Messages of condolence are welcomed at www.mundellfuneralhome.come
The words of painter, Jeff Miller - “I would like to introduce you to a wild territory, as it looks to me, where I have spent my most enjoyable and important moments--where I learned about my freedom through self-sufficiency, where my brain absorbed the forlorn green-grey atmospheres and muted blue hazes, and where I learned about resourcefulness and essential humour.”