MR. MILLER'S PROVERBS
"Let the bird fly."
"Curse note the
crocodile until you cross the stream."
"Eagles don't flock,
they must be found one at a time."
Vance C. Miller 1933-2013 was born Oct. 19, 1933 in Seminole, OK, he
grew up mostly in Dallas but never forgot his childhood experiences
in the Depression era, on the fringes of the dustbowl. Known to the
public as a prominent real estate mogul and philanthropist, family
members and friends knew him as an eternal optimist with an enduring
sense of humor and extraordinary mental toughness.
son of Juanita and Henry S. Miller Jr., Vance began chairman and
chief executive of Henry S. Miller Co., the real estate business his
grandfather launched in 1914. He joined the family business in 1959
after serving as a fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, he
became president in 1970, and along with his father, grew the
company to become one of the pre-eminent regional real estate
powerhouses in Texas and the USA. By 1981, the
company became the largest real estate brokerage firm in
the 7th largest in the nation\. Vance and Henry sold the Henry S.
Miller Company in 1983 to Grubb & Ellis. In 1984 he formed Vance C.
Miller Interests and developed several million square feet of real
Gov. Rick Perry said, “Vance was a patriot,
successful businessman and selfless philanthropist whose
entrepreneurial spirit and love of freedom helped put Dallas, and
our state, on the path to success. While he may not have been born
here, he was a proud Texan, and I was honored to have called him my
friend. Anita and I extend our sincere condolences and prayers to
Tincy, his family, friends and colleagues across the state."
Vance was especially proud of his service as a
Lieutenant in the Air Force as a jet fighter pilot during the “Cold
War” years and briefly considered pursuing a career in the military.
Instead, he remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for several
years and joined his father and grandfather in the family business.
He graduated from Highland Park High School and earned a B.B.A. from
Southern Methodist University in 1956 after meeting his wife there,
Geraldine “Tincy” Erwin. He often reminded her that from the moment
he spotted her crossing the campus in bobby sox and jeans, he knew
she was the gal he would marry. Their marriage spanned 56 years,
enduring the heartache of losing their son, and the challenges of
both good times and bad. Together they have given generously of
their combined talents to Dallas and beyond, contributing to the
performing arts and numerous charities.
An avid golfer, he was a founding member of Preston Trail Golf Club,
and later enjoyed developing the golf courses at family-owned
Prestonwood Country Club. Together with his father, they
reinvigorated Highland Park Shopping Center, but his larger version
was tied to his belief in the potential of Dallas, as he foresaw the
explosive growth the city would subsequently experience.
He incorporated a favorite Rotary Club quote onto a two-sided plaque
that sat on his desk: “Is it Fair and Just?” read one side, and,
reflecting his dry wit, he added to the other side, “Thou Shalt not
Whine.” He was famous for many quotable and often wry bits of advice
cherished by friends, family and associates, such as “Curse not the
crocodile until you have crossed the river” or “If you’re going to
be a gunfighter, you’ve got to be willing to die.”
Vance served on the Board of Directors of numerous public companies
and financial institutions.
Past National President, Institute of Real Estate Management, 1974
Past Chairman, Private Industry Council, City of Dallas, 1978
Past Chairman by Presidential Appointment, National Alliance of
Businessmen, Dallas, 1980
Past Director, National Association of Realtors, 1982 - 1990
Past Director by Presidential Appointment, Federal National
Mortgage Association, 1986-1989
Director, Pilgrims Pride Corporation
Past Director, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce
Past Director, Budget Finance Committee, United Way of Dallas
Past Director, Dallas Metro YMCA
Commercial Property Executive
"Vance Miller's life was a testament to
the promise of America and the vitality
of Texas. His brand of entrepreneurship
-- and the flourishing of his life's
work -- proved liberty's case. He
understood that: and it's why he devoted
himself to keeping Texas free, so future
generations would have the same
opportunity he did. As his friends and
loved ones put him to rest, the Texas
Public Policy Foundation is privileged
to report that his work -- and his
spirit -- live on.
"We remember Vance Miller with
gratitude: because we carry on his cause
with his example to guide us."
Brooke Rollins, President/CEO Texas
Public Policy Foundation
MILLER HELPED SHAPE DALLAS - A
Dallas Morning News Letter
Publicly and privately, local real
estate mogul and political donor Vance
Miller mentored, employed, financed,
advised, groomed and sent forth people
to realize their dreams either in
private enterprise or political life.
He brought on young people to work in his
real estate business. He taught them the
craft of leasing properties, developing
land and negotiating transactions. Some
succeeded so well, they left to start
their own businesses, with Miller’s
Politically, our landscape has been
shaped in some way by Mr. Miller. He has
supported candidates financially and
with his wisdom. The state is better for
his development of our leaders. Dallas
is a place where dreams come true. It is
a can-do place with people like Miller.
Dallas has seen spectacular growth in
the last 30 years. Miller developed much
of the area. People moved here, opened
businesses and employed others, and
their success stories can be tied to
this Dallas legend’s vision, as well.
- James C.
Hairston, University Park