Longtime state rep Ralph Miller remembered among legislative ‘Young Turks’ passes away

Attorney, lobbyist, civic leader, and former state representative, Ralph R. Miller, 82, died March 30 after a brief illness.

Miller’s son, Greg, a state representative since 2011, remembered his father as a man who loved his family and friends.

“One of the things he said to me is ‘Greg, you’re going to make a lot of friends’ because he made so many friends from his time serving – and he really just loved serving,” he said.

Miller served 22 years in the Louisiana State House of Representatives where he chaired the Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice and the House Committee on Municipal, Parochial, and Cultural Affairs. He was also a member of the Council of the Louisiana State Law Institute.Nearly 25 years out of public office, Ralph Miller kept many of his friends and he didn’t stop making new ones. When Greg Miller was elected to the Legislature, he was often told how much they loved his father and that he was a kind person.E.L. “Bubba” Henry, a longtime state representative until 1980, told Miller that his father “didn’t have a mean or ugly bone in his body.”

Miller was born, raised and stayed close to his hometown of Norco. He was a graduate of Destrehan High School, Louisiana State University, and LSU Law School.

Miller said his father was still helping people until his death, like the Norco Civic Association and River Road Historical Society that he called “one of his loves.” He also was proud of getting things done like the Apple Street project, Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge in Luling and East Bank Hurricane Levee.

Parish President Larry Cochran said Miller’s accomplishments made him “one of the most respected public servants in St. Charles Parish and we are grateful for his service.”

Greg Miller added, “He was especially proud of the fact he helped preserve the LaBranche Wetlands. Efforts were underway to drain the wetlands for development in the early 1970’s, but his father helped preserve the swamp, Miller said.

“A lot of people were mad at him, including relatives and friends, so he was very much a person who cared about our environment and our natural beauty, which is why he was involved with the River Road Historical Society,” Miller said. “He took great joy in helping to bring back and restore Destrehan Plantation.”

Miller’s father was among a group of young legislators nicknamed the “Young Turks” who in the 1970’s brought about major legislative reforms in the Legislature.

After serving in the Legislature, Miller was named vice president of State Governmental Relations for Freeport McMoRan and then a similar position with Crescent Technologies where he continued to work until his death.

He was a Louisiana lobbyist for 25 years, having served on numerous boards including Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, Public Affairs Research Council, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Bureau of Government Research, World Trade Center, Council for a Better Louisiana, and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

Miller is survived by his wife, Sue Cutrer Miller, whom he married in 1989; children Ross A. Miller, Gregory A. Miller (Amy Pfrimmer), Maria C. Miller, Maureen J. Miller (Michael Earle); brothers Homer “H.F.” Miller Jr.  (Judy), D. James “Jimmy” Miller (Sonia); grandchildren Candice Miller Catalano (Anthony), Brooke Miller Bazile (Chase), Emma Miller Manson, Kristin Rome Graebert (Eddie); four great grandchildren, and father-in-law James H. Cutrer. He was preceded in death by his parents Homer F. Miller and Emma Cambre Miller.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations to: Catholic Charities of New Orleans: 1000 Howard Avenue, Suite 200, New Orleans, LA 70113; (504) 523-3755 or River Road Historical Society: P.O. Box 5 Destrehan, LA 70047, (985) 764-9315.

Condolences may be expressed at www.HCAlexander.com.


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