Billy Miller

Billy Earl Miller

Jul/14/1933 - May/10/2023

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Obituary of Billy Earl Miller

Billy Earl “Bill” Miller, 89, passed away peacefully on May 10, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. Born July 14, 1933 in Marion, North Carolina, he was the eldest son of the late Clyde Rass Miller and June Russell Miller, and husband of the love of his life, Betty Lou Murray Miller. Bill and Betty were loving parents to two children, a son, Derrell Allen Miller, and a daughter, Darlene Miller Rikard; whom he lovingly referred to as, “my diamond and my pearl.”

Bill and Betty moved to Columbia, South Carolina when he joined the United States Army during the Korean Conflict. He was extremely proud of his military service and his pride of our Armed Forces continued throughout his life.  Upon exiting the military, Bill and Betty built a full and meaningful life in Columbia where he was a grocery store manager with Colonial Stores, Big Star, and Kroger. Bill enjoyed engaging with his customers and excelled in merchandising; building many creative and award winning displays. Always with a quick wit and story to tell, he never met a stranger and enjoyed the ability to use his vocation to give back to his community.

Bill spent his life in service to his family, his community, and his Lord. He was a former long-time member of Suber-Marshall Memorial United Methodist Church where he served as a Boy Scout leader for many years, worked tirelessly as a part of the Men’s Club on the Annual Church BBQs and Ladies Nights, and served on numerous committees and mission projects.  His initial experience with the Walk to Emmaus led him to become an active member of the Midlands chapter, where he encouraged and sponsored others, subsequently bringing them closer to Christ. He later extended this service into prison ministry by working with Kairos, an extended program of the Walk to Emmaus for incarcerated individuals. He and his wife, Betty, were part of a team to “go inside” where they led church service and served a delicious home cooked meal to the participants while building Christ-centered relationships to help these men grown in their faith journey. After moving to Lake Wateree, he and Betty became members of Smyrna United Methodist Church where they founded “Vickie’s Kitchen,” a ministry to provide meals to those in need within the community surrounding the church and then expanded this ministry to the parking lot of the Elgin food pantry.  He was a current member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Lugoff.  Although he could no longer serve in a physical capacity, he continued to financially support on-going charities and ministries.

Bill had a love of nature and God’s hand in all we see; especially things that may go unnoticed by others. He maintained a quest for knowledge and was constantly asking the most interesting questions, until the end!  In addition, he was a keen “people watcher” picking up on subtle nuances and characteristics of those around him. A Poet, all of these things were often reflected in his poetry.  The last stanza of his poem “Time” sums up his philosophy of life:

“God, we hope we have used our time well,

Being good stewards can give us peace of mind.

Hoping we have made our world a better place,

God we thank you for giving us our time.”


Bill is survived by his daughter, Darlene Miller Rikard; siblings, Clyde Miller (Doris), Myrtle Pennington (Wendell), Roger Miller, Peggy Waters (Sherm); grandchildren, Ashley Miller, Miri Miller, Evan Rikard; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Rodney, and Asher; and our very special family friend, Larry Branham.

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Betty Miller; son, Derrell Miller; his brothers, Bobby and Donald Miller; his sister Joann Donaldson; and his grandson, Ross Rikard.

The family will receive friends from 10:30am – 11:30am on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Powers Funeral Home, Lugoff.  A committal service will follow at Fort Jackson National Cemetery at 12:00pm.

The family would like to extend a special, heartfelt thank you to Mr. Larry Branham, whose selfless companionship and devotion was such an amazing gift to Bill and his entire family.  We also want to thank Chris, Jessica, Keisha, and Tam, with Pruitt Health Hospice, for the wonderful care and support provided to Mr. Miller and his family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Ross Rikard Memorial Endowment Fund which supports at-risk youth. (The South Carolina United Methodist Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 5087 Columbia, SC 29250-5087)



10:30 am - 11:30 am
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Powers Funeral Home
832 Ridgeway Rd
Lugoff, South Carolina, United States


12:00 pm
Thursday, June 8, 2023
Fort Jackson National Cemetery
4170 Percival Rd
Columbia, South Carolina, United States