By Carol South
Special to the Record-Eagle
TRAVERSE CITY — Scott Miller's grieving parents are investing in the future.
Their son, Scott Miller, 47, died May 20 in a motorcycle accident in Grand Rapids. Seven months later, the avid hockey player, animal lover and generous man will be celebrated tonight prior to a Traverse City Central High School hockey game.
Wayne and Jane Miller will drop the puck before the Trojan-Bay Reps match in honor of their son. The couple have endowed a scholarship in their son's name that will benefit a Trojan player annually for the next 15 years. The scholarship is administered by the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.
"He loved the sport, he just really loved it," said Wayne Miller. "He liked working with kids. We just thought it would really be nice to do something like (the scholarship)."
At hockey coach Chris Givens' suggestion, the school's annual three-day hockey fest has been renamed the Scott Miller Memorial Holiday Invitational Tournament.
The tournament will field eight teams this year — including Central, West and the Bay Reps as well as out-of-area teams — and is a much-anticipated local hockey event.
Givens hopes that renaming the tournament would provide a small way to make something positive from a tragedy.
"There's a lot of fresh pain still there for them," said Givens, noting that Central Athletic Director Cody Inglis backed the idea immediately. "The Millers have always been supportive of the hockey program; it's a way to give back to the family."
Scott Miller played youth hockey with the Grand Traverse Hockey Association and later the Trojans in the late 1970s and early 1980s. An accomplished electrician as an adult, he worked on and led numerous projects in the region, including at his former school, the City Opera House and the new courthouse.
"He was just a giving individual," said Wayne Miller.
Scott Miller returned to hockey as an adult, serving as director of the local men's Division C league. For a few years, he organized a team of former Trojan players, whose accomplishments surpassed their high school record.
High school friend Steve Armour had lost touch with Scott until he called out of the blue to revive the team.
"Next thing we know we have 10-12 guys to play hockey with, he'd gotten the team together and jerseys with the old Trojan logo on it," said Armour, whose son Keanan is a current Trojan player. "We actually played pretty good. He drew all these people out of their comfortable lifestyles."