Wilmer Jay Miller, Ph.D., of Ames, died Saturday, July 30, at Riverside Manor attended by his family. A Celebration of Life memorial service was held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ames, 1015 N. Hyland Ave. 

Wilmer was born on 15 July 1925, in Lawton, Oklahoma, the son of Walter James Miller and Dorothy Ethel Virgin Miller. He attended Cameron State Agricultural College and got a BS degree at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. In 1951, he was elected to Sigma Xi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he received his Ph.D. in 1954. He then joined the School of Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Microbiology at the University of California- Davis.


On August 23, 1952, Wilmer married Lotus Simon in Portland, Oregon. He moved his family to Ames in 1962 to take a position in the Iowa State University Department of Genetics. He retired as a Professor in 1994.


Wilmer was a world expert on cattle blood typing and pedigree analysis. He made many contributions to Brazilian cattle blood typing, including starting the Animal Genetics Laboratory in the Veterinary College of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil as a Visiting Research Professor in 1992. He was also an international leader on Ringneck Dove genetics and breeding. Wilmer's honors include the Willard F. Hollander, Naether-Hanover, and Edwin Gentry Awards. He was inducted into The American Pigeon Fancier Hall of Fame in 2002, and the American Dove Association created the "Dr. Wilmer J. Miller Award" in his honor in 2009.


Wilmer was an accomplished horticulturist and avid naturalist. He arranged music and played with recorder quartets.  He enjoyed reading mysteries and science fiction.


Survivors include his wife, Lotus of Ames, two sons, Douglas Miller of San Francisco, CA; and Alan (Amanda) Miller of Atherton, CA; and three grandchildren, Aliana, Brice and Caewithe.


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