Donald G. Miller was a many-faceted man. A highly respected scientist, his work in physical chemistry was known around the world. He was a life-long civic activist, whose 50 years of determined participation in local politics had significant impacts on life in Livermore and the Livermore Valley. He was a founding member of and an active participant in Congregation Beth Emek. He authored 174 papers. His interests ranged from ragtime and classical music to shooting and ballistics. And, he was both loved and highly respected by his family and multitude of friends.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, he spent all but 8 of his 84 years in the Bay Area. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1949, with a B.S. with honors in chemistry and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1952. He spent most of his scientific career as a research chemist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1960-61, spending the school year teaching at two universities in Lille, France. He also taught at a number of universities around the world over the course of his life.
Livermore’s numerous parks, undeveloped hillsides, fountains, charming downtown with cultural spaces, and lack of distracting signs are just a few of the testimonials to Donald Miller’s civic activism. He fought against unlimited development, seeking to protect the area’s air, water, open space and natural beauty.