William F. Miles
William Fraser Miles (Bill) passed away at The Residence at Shelburne Bay on November 21. He was born August 29, 1931 in Schenectady, NY to parents Margaret Fraser and Ray Embree Miles. He will be missed by all who knew him.
After spending early years in Denver, Colorado, Bill attended Scotia, NY schools and was a member of the Dutch Reformed Church of Schenectady. He had a variety of jobs in his early years developing his strong work ethic (with encouragement from Dad Ray): newspaper delivery, raising chickens and eggs as part of the war effort, A & P produce clerk, printer’s assistant, band member playing trumpet, and R.R. section crew during college years.
In 1953 Bill graduated from the University of Vermont where he had met and married Elaine Demsky in 1952. Reverend Hobart Goewey and Eugene Eakin officiated at the First Methodist Church. Elaine and Bill recently celebrated 67 years. Bill worked as a credit adjuster and built his first home on Home Avenue in Burlington. When he was offered an opportunity at National Commercial Bank and Trust in Albany, NY, the couple moved to East Greenbush, NY. By this time they had three children, Gordon, Barbara, Jonathan.
Returning to Vermont in 1963 they purchased property on South Willard Street which Bill renovated, and he began his “sparetime” occupation as a landlord. Soon Bill was hired at Blodgett Supply Company beginning his 30 year association as Treasurer. He was grateful to mentors Webster Thompson, Jim Allen, and later Sam Levin.
Bill was an avid hiker, completing end-to-end status on the Long Trail, doing many side trips with grandchildren, bicycling in Vermont, and cross country skiing at Bolton. In retirement Bill and Elaine traveled to many locations. Among his favorite accomplishments: walking Brunelleschi’s stairs to reach the top of the Duomo in Florence, Italy, exploring Uluru in Australia, the thermal pools and geysers of Iceland, descending the trail into the Grand Canyon.
A contributing member of the community, he always brought his best as a man of impeccable conscience. Organizations to which Bill gave support over the years include the Masonic brotherhood and Scottish Rite. He was treasurer for the United Methodist Church, Burlington Tennis Club, and National Alliance for Mental Illness of Vermont where he was a charter member of the Board as well as a Family Education teacher for ten years. Bill’s legacy includes his strong marriage, three children and five grandchildren, and raising multiple dogs. His care and guidance for his family were defined by his integrity and love. His spirit will live on in the lives of those children and grandchildren. During his stay at Shelburne Bay Bill expressed his deep appreciation for the outstanding care he received from the group of caregivers, thanking them almost every day. They became late-in-life friends.
Surviving family members include his wife, Elaine, his sister: Marian Miles Gilgore, Scotia, NY, his children: Gordon Miles, Montpelier, Barbara Miles Connor (Mrs. James), Colchester, VT, Jonathan and Elizabeth (Passage) Miles, Williston, VT, grandchildren Hannah Miles, Somerville, MA, Ethan Connor, Waterbury, VT, Kelsey Connor, Hyde Park, VT, Erin Connor, Austin, TX, Asa Connor, North Creek, NY, and beloved dog Miri. He was predeceased by daughter-in- law Alicia Ballantyne Miles.
A celebration of his life will be held on November 30, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at All Souls Interfaith Gathering, 291 Bostwick Farm Road, Shelburne, VT 05482. In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, 31 Elmwood Ave., Burlington, VT 05401 or The Green Mountain Club, 4711 Waterbury Stowe Rd., Waterbury Ctr., VT 05677.
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