February 20, 1943 – October 12, 2021
William Michael Mead-Miller was born at his parents’ home, in Ucluelet, February 20th, 1943, across the lane from where he would eventually make his own home and create his life.
After his last Thanksgiving weekend, he died on the morning of October 12th, 2021, at Tofino General Hospital. He was 78 years old.
He has gone to join his parents, Sheila and Kenneth Mead-Miller, sisters Molly (Ivan) Halvarson and Barbara (Alf) Beck, and his brother Malcolm (Sharon) Mead-Miller.
He leaves behind Judy, his wife of 44 years, daughters Amie (Al) and Caro (Bill), grandchildren Callum and Smith, his sister Sheila (Howie), his cousin, the venerable Margaret Thompson, nieces, and nephews.
Mike was a kind, gentle and compassionate soul – these words continually emerge when he is described by friends, family, and even by people who barely knew him. Always willing to help others, people would say how he improved their day and uplifted their spirits, especially if they needed advice, or someone to talk to, or just to listen.
He was always very social and popular. In his school years, he took great interest in sports and was a solid basketball and baseball player. He was described by his best friend as being “always surrounded by people” – which lead to a teacher giving him the nickname “Romeo!”
Another interesting nickname he had was “Fish” – the genesis of this name is not as clear, but appeared sometime around when he played drums in a local band.
Mike grew up in a very musical family. His father, Ken, played the fiddle, and his mother, Sheila, made the keys sing on her piano. He had fond memories of them performing at the old U.A.C.
Hall and at home. He thought live music was the ultimate experience and considered “canned music” inferior. Even so, he had a huge, eclectic record collection which included a lot of Dixieland jazz, Herb Alpert, Clancy Brothers, and Elvis! Mike loved to dance and he was good at it. At his 70th birthday bash, family and friends witnessed him return to his 20’s, as he danced with his sister Sheila.
The accomplishments in his life were many and something he should have been proud of. One was his successful gravel business, Haulmor Sand and Gravel. He was the “Gravel Man” (selfgiven nickname). Most famous for building many of the roads we now drive on and the production of “magic soil” for gardens, with its secret, potent, and stinky ingredients. Many got to know Mike through his business and recall his friendly, personable service, and his generosity. He would often undercharge people and donate gravel. He believed that woman made better machine operators (than men) and taught his daughters to run the screener, loader, dump trucks and excavators. He also served as alderman on Ucluelet council and he was Ucluelet Fire Chief. He served on the Fire Department for more than 25 years. Fire drills at the Mead-Miller household were mandatory, at least once a month!
Volunteerism came naturally to Mike – he never gave it a second thought, he just did it! With his best friend Terry, he helped start and run the first Cubs and Scouts Club in Ucluelet. This would probably explain his insistence that his daughters intentionally get lost in the woods and try to make it out using only a compass! Organizations such as the Ucluelet Athletic Club, Historical Society, George Fraser Gardens, Food Bank, Ukee Days and the Edge to Edge Marathon benefited from his help. People wanted him as a volunteer because he “made it fun.”
He was proud of the town he grew up in and wanted to make it a better place to be for everyone.
As a youth, he swam in the “pristine” Ucluelet Harbour waters with his brother and sisters. In his adult life, he took his family out on his motorboat to discover the best picnic beaches, crabbed and did a bit of fishing. He surfed way before it was cool here, a surf pioneer, (his longboard from the 60’s is still around) and wrote articles describing the surf conditions at Long Beach. Compared to other beaches he’s seen in his travels, places such as Hawaii, Mexico, Europe and Thailand – he said it was the “most beautiful beach in the world.” He was always close to the water. He never wanted to leave this place. Mike was quite content to live his whole life in Ucluelet. He was a loving, caring father and husband, an excellent friend and neighbour to all who met him. A true Ucluelet icon.
We wish to thank Mike’s care team for their genuine concern and compassion – Dr. Horn and Fred, the staff at the Ucluelet Medical Centre and Tofino General Hospital.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Tofino Hospital Society.Obituary
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