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Allen "Al" Miller

Date of Death: November 25, 2022

Date of Birth: June 5, 1938


Arrowsic - Allen Laird Miller of Arrowsic, Maine, born in 1938, passed away on November 25, 2022.

Al was the son of Robert B. Miller and Jean Leonard and younger brother of Robert B. Miller, Jr. Raised in a newspaper family, he earned a BA from Williams College and an MA from the University of Michigan in English Literature. Al married Margaret (Margy) Washburne in 1961 and - itching for travel and adventure - they moved to Beirut, Lebanon where Al taught English at the International College. As he put it: teaching was initially a way to live abroad but soon became his calling. In Beirut, Al fell in love with the culture, history and people of the Middle East.

In 1971, the family settled in Brunswick, Maine. While teaching English at the West Harpswell School, Al founded and ran the Young People's Theater in 1972 and, a few years later, the Summer Theater Project. He studied mime at Celebration Barn in South Paris, created and performed as Clown Al, and obtained his first LAUGH license plates.

In 1986, Al's theaters (now called The Theater Project) found a permanent home at 14 School Street in Brunswick. Clown Al was eventually packed away and Al turned his attention to teaching acting classes, storytelling, directing and writing plays, and conducting workshops for teachers. Never one for walls or boundaries, Al taught in prisons, retirement centers, and schools from Aroostook County to Michigan to Palestine. He worked with organizations like Spindleworks and The Telling Room to reach differently-abled people, children and adults from historically clashing cultures, and recently-settled refugees.

In 1988, Al moved to Arrowsic and became a regular at the Bath Farmer's Market. Those of you who have had a meal at his house - and there are hundreds of you - know that he became an accomplished chef who truly loved hosting or delivering meals to friends and neighbors. His partner Jean Shaw was a frequent co-host. Jean and Al also shared a love of choral music, theater, wine, gardens, and travel.

Al touched countless lives. He inspired, supported, and celebrated creativity. He taught his students to listen, to be curious about each other, to find confidence in their true voice. To participate in the theater was to join a vast, caring, vibrant community. Al was genuinely interested in people and their stories - the clerks at the bank, his dear friends across the Middle East, wine makers in Oregon and Virginia, international students attending Bowdoin, local proprietors of wine, coffee, cheeses, and other fine foods in Brunswick, Bath, and their respective farmer's markets. On one of his ever-present to-do lists, Al wrote "host party for nurses and aides at Bodwell". And there is no doubt he would have done it if he had more time with us.

Al is survived by: his five children Wendy and her spouse Mark of Hudson, OH, Chris and his spouse Kelly of Alexandria, VA, Geoff and his spouse Shirley of Seattle, WA, Jessica and her partner Roger of West Bath, ME, Tim and his spouse Kristen of Tacoma, WA; their mother Margy Miller of Brunswick, ME; his eight grandchildren Christopher (Cos) Skinner, Emma Skinner, Leila Skinner, Cole Miller, Patrick Miller, Emiko Miller, Hana Miller and Temple Miller-Hodgkin; and his partner Jean Shaw.

A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, February 4, at 2:00 PM at the First Parish Church in Brunswick

Donations may be made in Al's memory to The Theater Project, Tedford Housing, or
Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention Program

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