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William Forbes “Joe” Miller Jr., age 81, of Gloucester, passed away on April 9, 2024 in his home at the end of his journey with Alzheimer’s. His wife Jeannie, daughter Starr, and son Christopher were with him. He was born on November 13, 1942; he and his younger brother Chuck grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, sons of William F. Miller and Elizabeth Kelley Miller. Joe’s early years were filled with music, especially singing, competing as a trampolinist, and summer vacations on a lake. His family moved to a farm in Orange County, Virginia, when Joe was a teenager. He attended Saint Christopher’s School, where classmates most remembered him playing his banjo, although his primary musical passion was singing. He loved to ski and spent a year being a “ski bum” in Lake Tahoe. He graduated from Syracuse University with an Engineering degree, which he used to help build primary schools in the Republic of Honduras, during two years of service in the Peace Corps. There he met Jeannie Smith, who was working as a physical therapist with British Volunteer Services Overseas. Jeannie and Joe married in England in 1971. They returned to the States to live in Orange County, where they built “Madrigal,” Joe’s beloved Wharram catamaran. Madrigal took him, Jeannie, and toddler Christopher to the Bahamas, returning to Gloucester with an additional crew member, infant Starr. Joe’s second career was in social work for James City County, where he worked as a counselor. During this time, he also designed and built their family home in Gloucester on the weekends. He was able to combine his talents while designing affordable housing units for James City County. Joe enjoyed getting together with his men’s group, playing bridge, singing in several local choral groups, and serving with the Samaritans of Gloucester. He loved gatherings, especially Boxing Day. He had a strong interest in nature, sailing, and traveling anywhere you could get to by boat. He was most often found working on Madrigal at the end of their dock, preparing for an adventure. In his retirement, he and Jeannie sailed to Turkey and back. Joe is survived by his wife, Jeannie; brother, Chuck (Betsy); stepbrother, Bill (Carolyn); son, Christopher (Kelly); daughter, Starr (Jason), and grandchildren, Heron, Lizzie, Henry, and Janie. Joe’s integrity was unquestionable. Those who knew and loved Joe accepted a level of honesty, sometimes to a fault. He remained true to his concerns about issues of fairness and equality. His funeral will be a private, family gathering, with a Celebration of Life to follow later this year. He will be missed! The family would like to thank Riverside Hospice and Bay Aging for their compassionate care. In memory of Joe, contributions can be made to the former Gloucester Housing Partnership now known as Rural Housing Partnership, P.O. Box 1688, Gloucester, Va. 23061, or to The Samaritan Group, P.O. Box 784, White Marsh, Va. 23184.

Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home & Crematory.