61 year old Todd Miller was heading north on Highway 145 just before noon when his minivan barreled head on into the protective barriers on the side of the roadway, reported the Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2VRwtcM).
The car burst into flames, with well over a dozen good Samaritans trying desperately to free Miller from the vehicle. One told Fox 6 (http://bit.ly/2VTq6pf) that they backed away only as when they started hearing explosions emanating from the minivan, which was incinerated by the blaze.
Miller, the owner of Miller’s Carpet Company, was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department is continuing their investigation into the cause of the accident.
During his 90 minute funeral at the Goodman Bensman Funeral Home, Miller was eulogized as “a connoisseur of tzedaka and maaser,” with one speaker recalling the annual pre-Purim pep talk that he gave yeshiva students who would be engaged in fundraising over the holiday.
Miller would encourage them to promise potential donors that G-d would reward them handsomely for their donations, handing out his personal cell phone number to be given to anyone who wanted further assurances that their financial gifts to the yeshiva would be divinely repaid.
Recalled as a true leader who was involved in all of Milwaukee’s Jewish institutions and organizations, Miller was also remembered for his tremendous love of his family and community. Son in law Chaim Lampert lauded Miller for his tremendous inner strength and a unique ability to help others rise to their full potential.
Moshe Leib Miller compared his father to Nachshon Ben Aminadav, noting that whether it was a fundraising project to be gotten off the ground or a building that needed to be built, his father would be the first to volunteer, jumping in headfirst and fully immersing himself in the project at hand.
Tributes to Miller poured in on Facebook, with the Friendship Circle of Wisconsin describing Miller as one of the pillars of the Milwaukee Jewish community, while the Chicago branch of Yachad called him “a wonderful friend.” A post by Benyamin Blatt read simply “Boruch Dayan HaEmes. To know him was to love him.”
Miller’s funeral was followed by burial at Beth Medrash Hagadol Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Terry, seven children and over a dozen grandchildren.