GREENFIELD — Phil Miller, a prominent Libertarian who made a name for himself as both a politician and public servant, left behind a legacy of not only Libertarian ideals but also love and kindness when he passed away June 2 at the age of 69 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.

 Phil Miller — a prominent Libertarian who made a name for himself as both a politician and public servant — passed away June 2 at the age of 69 after a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Submitted photo

Friends and family gathered at St. James Lutheran Church before his funeral Friday afternoon to celebrate a man who was known for giving back to his community.

“He always made himself available to do whatever needed to be done,” said Jim Peters, who got to know Miller through working together at Love In the Name of Christ — or Love INC — a church-based nonprofit.

Miller asked that loved ones make donations to Love INC in lieu of sending flowers to his funeral.

The Michigan native but longtime Greenfield resident was known as much for his generous spirit as he was for his Libertarian politics.

Miller made a name for himself as the first Libertarian elected to public office in the city of Greenfield when he was elected to a four-year term on the city council in 1999.

After ending his term in 2004, he continued to make an impact on the local party.

In 2011, he ran for mayor of Greenfield but lost to Dick Pasco, who ran as a Republican with no Democratic opponent.

In 1998, he ran for the Indiana House of Representatives seat in District 53 that eventually went to Bob Cherry.

Miller was honored to have the Indiana Libertarian Party’s Candidate of the Year award named after him, and won the award in 2012. He also won the party’s Dr. Barbara Bourland Light of Liberty Award in 2004.

A photo in the Daily Reporter dated April 18, 2000, shows Miller standing by the mailboxes outside the Greenfield post office, holding signs protesting federal waste.

“Do you really like sending all of that money to Washington?” his sign read.

Larry Silver, who ran as a Libertarian for mayor of Greenfield last year and now chairs the Hancock County Libertarian party, said Miller served as a tremendous mentor since he met him in 2021.

“He literally was the reason why our local party started. He loved Greenfield very much and he loved the Libertarian party very much,” said Silver. “His passion for the community was unmatched. He always put others before himself. He’ll be irreplaceable going forward, but we’re going to continue to grow our local party in his memory and spirit. He will be greatly missed.”

Luke Lomax, former chair of the Hancock County Libertarian Party, also held Miller in high regard.

“Phil was probably one of the most important Libertarian mentors in my life,” he said. “He taught me and Larry how to organize the party, he gave us tips and tricks, but he was just the guy you go to if you needed moral support.”

Pastor Richard Blue, who leads St. James Lutheran Church, said Miller was a prominent fixture of the church, which he and his wife, Terry, attended for over 20 years.

“Phil was a humble Christian. He was always behind the scenes making things happen,” Blue recalled.

“You didn’t always know his involvement, but he was involved with pretty much everything in the life of our church.”

Miller served as both president and vice president of the church council, and was a common fixture at the Trunk or Treat event, where he would cook hundreds of hot dogs for kids.

He was perhaps best known for leading the Tuesday morning men’s Bible study for several years.

“He never thought he was worthy enough to lead it, but he was there leading it every week. He’d come in and study the Scripture in the morning before everyone got there, and he’d get the coffee going and the air turned on. He was very faithful,” Blue said.

The pastor recalled one particular Tuesday when Miller’s health was failing and he had a chemotherapy treatment to get to in Indianapolis, but he still stopped by the church first to get the coffee brewing for his Bible study friends.

In his eulogy, Blue planned to pay tribute to Miller’s humility through a Scripture that preaches about the service of others.

“It talks about ‘When I was hungry you fed me, when I was naked you clothed me.’ That was Phil in a nutshell. He was just so compassionate with every single person,” he said.

Blue said Miller also had a penchant for being direct.

“You never had to guess what he was thinking,” he recalled with a laugh.

“Coming in as a new pastor, I could ask his opinion about something and he wasn’t hesitant to share it, at least not for me,” said the pastor.

“He wasn’t the hugging type, but I always gave Phil a hug, and I’m going to miss that,” he said.

To make donations to Love INC in Miller’s memory, checks can be sent to: Love In the Name of Christ of Greater Hancock County, 630 N State St., Greenfield, IN 46140.