HOMETOWN HEROES: Richard Miller isn’t slowing down

Richard Miller with a bench celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary, installed in front of Greenville Town Hall as part of ongoing beautification efforts downtown.

Richard Miller with a bench celebrating the town’s 150th anniversary, installed in front of Greenville Town Hall as part of ongoing beautification efforts downtown. —STAFF FILE PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

Richard Miller speaks in favor of purchasing land in downtown Greenville for public parking at Town Meeting in 2022.

Richard Miller speaks in favor of purchasing land in downtown Greenville for public parking at Town Meeting in 2022. —STAFF FILE PHOTO BY ASHLEY SAARI

By BILL FONDA

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

Published: 12-22-2023 11:27 AM

Modified: 12-22-2023 2:55 PM


After a career in sales and marketing for various companies, Richard Miller “supposedly” retired in 2006.

However, since moving to Greenville in 2004, Miller has served on the town’s recreation and economic development committees, been a substitute teacher at Mascenic High School and an assistant coach for the school’s cross-country and track teams, is a member of the Souhegan Lions Club and is active in the Peterborough Unitarian Universalist Church.

One of his latest endeavors has been working with the New Hampshire Department of Transportation over the past few years to pick up trash from the town’s roads.

“That takes quite a bit of my time,” said Miller, who is 81. “I think I’m up to almost 280 bags of trash that I’ve picked up.”

For his involvement in the community, Miller is the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript’s Hometown Hero for December. He was nominated by Mike Smith, who coached Mascenic’s track and cross-country teams when Miller was an assistant.

Smith said their relationship began when they started talking and Miller – who had been a runner before developing knee problems – offered his services to help coach the newcomers to the track team. He said at least half of Miller’s work was as a volunteer, and that Miller bought a set of starting blocks for the sprinters.

The bridge on the Mascenic cross-country course is named for Miller, and the school planted apple trees in his honor.

“Mike’s – I don’t know why, but he’s been very nice to me about recognizing things like that,” Miller said.

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And even though Miller has stepped away from coaching, Smith said he still supports the team when he can.

 “It’s not uncommon to see him up in the stands at Conant when we run over there,” he said.

And Smith said Miller makes sure he knows the students’ names so he can cheer properly.

“That’s something that’s important to him,” he said.

Miller admits to being “a loudmouth, so when I go to the races or the cross-country meets, I tried to make as much noise as I possible could.”

“I guess I find it hard to sit on the sidelines,” he said.

According to Miller, he has felt it important to be active in the community wherever he lived.

“It probably comes from my father, because he was active in a number of different groups, so I’ve always felt an obligation to do things for the town that I live in,” he said.

Miller said he began substitute teaching because he was looking for something to do, and that is the service for which he is the proudest because he enjoyed being around young people. He taught until leaving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While serving as Recreation Committee chair, Miller said he was talking to a group of older women in town who said it would be nice to have a walking track. He set out to have a stone-dust path built inside the fence of the town field that now serves both as a warming track for baseball players and a place to walk.

“I still walk over there pretty regularly,” he said.

Walking, instead of running, might be Miller’s few concessions to age. Asked when he might slow down, Miller said with a laugh that his wife asks him the same question, but “as long as I can continue to do things, I will.”

Each month, the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript will recognize one of our region’s many Hometown Heroes. Nominate a Hometown Hero at ledgertranscript.com/SpecialPages/Hometown-Heroes.