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"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."


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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.


The 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 Texas and 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 estate projects. 

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

 Dallasnews.com       Globest.com       Bisnow.com       DCEO RealPoints

DallasBusinessJournal      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 blessing.

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