THE BLOG
09/03/2014 05:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

For My Dad

Charles ("Charlie") Tiffey Miller, smooth talker, instant friend, mover and shaker, died on August 31st, 2014 at the tender age of 74. Born in Washington D.C, he was raised by his beloved aunt Elizabeth Tiffey Nugent (deceased) and attended the Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida before enrolling at The Bullis School in Washington D.C. His fire engine red Chevy convertible was the stuff of legends, and it patiently stayed behind when Charlie enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1958.

Introduced to Nancy Chappelle of Bethesda MD by his cousin Mary Tiffey (Covell) of Washington DC, the devastatingly handsome Charlie quickly realized his bachelor days were over, and September 3rd, 1959 marked the beginning of a 55-year odyssey that included travel to Bermuda, a Caribbean cruise, and road trips to South Carolina (a favorite getaway) and Florida. Charlie loved to drive and sail, but never had any desire to fly.

A gifted salesman who was never afraid to talk to anyone he encountered, Charlie always made people feel completely comfortable sharing their life stories. Cashiers and waiters all over the region can attest to Charlie's ability to ascertain loads of personal information without them ever realizing they had spilled every bean imaginable. He loved people, and asked them anything that popped into his head, simply because he wanted to know them. Friends and family grew accustomed to allowing extra time for outings with Charlie because they were so familiar with this aspect of his personality.

He did a mean Donald Duck impression and took great pleasure in entertaining people with sudden outbursts of "Duckisms," whether it be on elevators or hospital waiting rooms. He enjoyed a lifelong career in real estate, and processed mathematical problems in his head with remarkable prowess. He spent several years helping people at Strosnider's Hardware in Bethesda, and had a devoted following. He loved to help people, and had a strong and sincere handshake.

Charlie was always impeccably dressed and had a lifelong love affair with cars, movies, Milk Duds and cheeseburgers, and never missed an opportunity to see what was showing on "Investigation Discovery." A generous and compassionate husband, father and friend, he was well known for always finding the perfect greeting cards that he tucked into his day planner with notes about who they were for and when they should be mailed. Charlie had a way of making everyone feel unique and special, and he will be terribly missed.

My dad was not superhuman. He was just a man who was operating with the tools he was given by his own life experience. What a cool guy he ended up being, once I opened my eyes, and how grateful I am to have taken the time to get to know him. His laughter will happily ring in my ears for a very long time. His battle with lung, liver and brain cancer was brief, and my dad was gone within three weeks of his initial diagnosis. My father was one of my very best friends, and I will miss him forever. My family and I ask that you consider making a donation to the American Cancer Society.