Starting in his early teens, Dr. Jonathan H. Miller followed several influences leading him toward a career in medicine, specifically radiology.
His mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, he suffered a broken leg and he was impressed with the medical treatment both received. Later, his family’s next-door neighbor on Long Island, a radiologist, became his mentor. Those experiences led him to major in biology at Cornell University, attend medical school and pursue a radiology career.
Dr. Miller, a Buffalo radiologist for more than two decades and a man with a passion for traveling to the far reaches of the world, died unexpectedly Saturday after being stricken while walking his dog on the beach in Port Colborne, Ont. He was 67.
An Oceanside, N.Y. native, Dr. Miller earned his bachelor of science degree from Cornell in 1971 before graduating from SUNY Downstate Medical Center and completing his residency in radiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
After he met Dr. Robin Lazar at a Luciano Pavarotti concert in Central Park, the couple married in 1980 and moved to Buffalo, where he worked as a radiologist at Buffalo General Hospital, South Buffalo Mercy Hospital and in private practice. He retired in the early 2000s.
Outside work, Dr. Miller had an adventurer’s spirit, traveling around the world to locales that included Africa, India, China, Nepal, Peru, Brazil and Ireland.
“He just loved meeting people, learning about new places and enjoying their cultures, traditions and food,” said his wife, Dr. Robin Lazar-Miller.
Family members cited Dr. Miller’s varied passions and experiences in life. As a Cornell student in the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of Students for a Democratic Society, a student-activist movement known for its protests against the nation’s economic injustice and the Vietnam War. He had a passion for photography, especially in taking photos of people’s faces all over the world. He also played the piano by ear, became a Cub Scout master who learned to play the bugle and had a fierce love for his dogs.
As Lazar-Miller said, “He was a multi-faceted guy.”
Surviving, besides his wife, are one son, David; one daughter, Allyson; his mother, Muriel; one brother, Elliott; and one sister, Sharyn.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Temple Beth Zion Sisterhood Chapel on Delaware Avenue.