Katharine Miller, 71; Scripps College Trustee

From a Times Staff Writer

Katharine Eleanor Howard Miller, vice chairwoman of the board of Scripps College and a civic leader in Santa Barbara, has died. She was 71.

Miller died Sunday at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara of complications from leukemia.

A native of Los Angeles, she was the great-granddaughter of both Gen. Harrison Gray Otis, the first publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and Volney P. Howard, one of Los Angeles’ first Superior Court judges.

She grew up in Pasadena, attended Westridge School and majored in French and Spanish literature at Scripps College, graduating in 1955. She started a career as a stockbroker before marrying Frank R. Miller Jr., in 1963. They soon relocated to Montecito with their family.


She had been a member of the board of trustees at Scripps since 1996 and served on a number of committees concerned with academic life at the Claremont campus. Until her death, she was also the Scripps liaison to the Assn. of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, a post she had held since 1984.

“She was a trusted advisor to all college administrators, not only because of her deep commitment to Scripps but because of her no-nonsense, straightforward approach to problem-solving,” the school’s president, Nancy Y. Bekavac, said in a statement.

“Kathie’s frequent response to any assignment or request from Scripps was, ‘I won’t let you down.’ She never did.”

Miller also served on the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury and was an active volunteer for several leading community groups, including the Braille Institute and Community Arts Music Assn. of Santa Barbara.


In addition to her husband, she is survived by sons F. Robert Miller III of Murphys, Calif., and Arthur Howard Miller of Santa Barbara, and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at All Saints by the Sea Episcopal Church, 83 Eucalyptus Lane, Santa Barbara.

Instead of flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in Miller’s honor to Scripps College.