Passing of Richard Miller, Founder of Cristo Rey

Lives of Students Honor the Legacy of Mr. Miller
Posted on 04/18/2016
Richard MillerNoted Kansas City lawyer and civic figure Dick Miller died Friday at the age of 83.
Miller was founding member of The Miller Law Firm in Kansas City. He was known nationally as an expert in construction law, publishing a number of books on the subject. In 2005, Miller was honored as Missouri Lawyer of the Year.
He co-founded Christmas in October, a volunteer program that rehabilitated more than 10,000 area homes in low-income neighborhoods. Miller also was a founder or cofounder of Cristo Rey High School, Boys Hope Girls Hope, Duchesne Clinic, the Catholic Community Foundation and Alexandra’s House.

In 2003, Miller's vision and determination brought awareness of the Cristo Rey model of education to Kansas City. After a thorough feasibility study gauging community support for a private Catholic high school uniquely formed to serve students with high economic need, the school was admitted to the Cristo Rey Network. As the school took shape, Miller tirelessly urged business leaders to employ students through the Corporate Work Study Program and inspired civic leaders to provide the necessary financial resources to establish and maintain school operations. Cristo Rey Kansas City opened in 2006 and is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, a religious community of women with more than 150 years' experience educating and preparing young people for their futures.

"At every step of the way, Dick Miller was asking civic and business leaders in Kansas City, 'How can we give each child in this community a fair start, the right start, and a moral start in life?'," recalled Director of Institutional Advancement Rebecca Summers. "Mr. Miller knew that the path to a stable adulthood is - and always has been - education. He was a tireless champion for our students and mission," said Summers. "He will be deeply missed by the Cristo Rey Kansas City community."

Additionally, Miller served on the boards of such organizations as the Kansas City Symphony, The Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rockhurst University, St. Mary’s University and Avila College.
Miller and his wife, Bernadette, have nine children, 30 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Portions of this article were originally published in the Kansas City Business Journal.

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