IN?MEMORY: ‘A gift’ for many at holidays

A man who spent years volunteering to distribute hundreds of thousands of toys for the needy at Christmas died over the recent holiday season.

Jack A. Miller spearheaded the Troopers Toys for Tots campaign for nearly 50 years. His effort began while he served as a New York state Trooper at the Fredonia barracks.

In 1996, Miller was praised by then state Gov. Mario Cuomo and his wife, Matilda, during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Albany. It was there, he remarked on how the effort began at a Buffalo orphanage in 1966. “Some of these children cried, and we cried with them,” Miller said during that event. “From that point on, it was a program that would never die.

“Tears of joy on the face of a child is truly a gift of Christmas.”

Miller was also a gift to many he assisted and this community. A memorial service in his honor will take place in the spring.