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Malcolm Miller

City Of Norco photo

Malcolm Miller

NORCO, CA – Memorial services were held at Nellie Weaver Hall Tuesday, Nov. 23, for Norco Mayor Malcolm Miller, who passed away Nov. 17 after battling with liver cancer that had been diagnosed in August.

Dr. Miller, 65, a retired anesthesiologist, was in his first four-year council term after being elected in 2007. His gentle, intellectual manner were combined with a drive to preserve and enjoy his community’s equestrian lifestyle. He saw his role as one who could influence long-term implications of City Council decisions – and also prevent council members’ political differences over them to become personal. Two weeks before his death, he had announced that he would take a 10-week leave of absence to receive treatment.

Berwin Hanna, who steps into the Norco Mayor role as Mayor Pro Tem, admired Dr. Miller’s appreciation for the city’s unique character.

“Malcolm had only been in Norco 13 years or so, but he embraced our rural lifestyle and our animal-keeping way of living – the large lots, the horse trails,” Hanna said. “He was a real firm believer in that.”

Dr. Miller, who could be seen riding his black Quarter Horse on the Norco trails, adopted a Mustang last spring at the Extreme Mustang Makeover Trail Challenge in Norco last May 14-16.

“He believed in our lifestyle,” said Hanna. “And he joined a lot of us on working committees to help protect this lifestyle.”

Dr. Miller also was dedicated to a proposed waste-to-energy plant project with Chevron Energy Solutions that would convert horse manure to electricity, said Hanna.

Dr. Miller and his wife, Donna, lived in a ranch overlooking the Norconian Club. He had been hospitalized on three occasions since August. The first visit reportedly came when he developed blood clots in his legs on an Aug. 9 flight back from his native South Africa. He returned to the hospital after the clots began to travel to his lungs. Then a stent in his bile duct became obstructed, and he was hospitalized again. It was then that doctors performed a CT scan and found the cancer.

Dr. Miller earned his medical degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He was a naturalized U.S. citizen and moved to Norco in 1997. He practiced as an anesthesiologist at Harvard Medical School and then taught at Harvard for three years. He worked at UC Irvine as an assistant professor in anesthesiology before entering private practice in Orange County.

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