Clifton Miller, mayor and councilman

Clifton Miller, mayor and councilman

First published 8/16/22

Clifton Charles Miller was born 3 December 1930 in Covina, California, the son of Harry Arthur Miller (son of Charles Miller and Mary Collins) and Nellie Alt (daughter of Charles Alt and Olive Larson). Harry and Nellie married on 28 August 1929 in Orange, California. The 1930 Census shows Harry and Nellie living in Covina, California and lists Harry’s occupation as a plumber.

Clifton Miller, their first child and only son would be born on December 3, 1930. His sister, Donna, would be born in 1932. By then, his father had become a contracted Sunkist Citrus grove manager. Clifton attended Whittier High School and University of Southern California, where he obtained his degree in architecture.

He enlisted into the United States Army on 16 June 1954 until his discharge on 27 February 1956. Clifton married Darlene Hackett (daughter of David Hackett and Gertrude Arnold) on 30 October 1953 in Arizona.

Clifton was the President of Facilities and Planning at the University of California, Irvine and became a member of the City of Tustin Planning Commission from 1963-1964. When Mayor George Doney resigned from the City Council in 1964, Clifton was one of five candidates applying to fill the position and was selected. He was re-elected to the City Council in the 1966 election and was mayor from 1972-1973.

Clifton and Darlene were raising their five children, Stephen, Karen Liane, Kirk, Craig and Donna from their home at 13511 Diamond Head Drive in Tustin. Former Mayor A.J. Coco remembers that Cliff turned down a well-paid assignment to a local board because he was devoted to his family and their Monday evening family Home Nights.

Clifton Miller resigned his position as mayor in April 1973 but continued to serve on the City Council. In August of 1973, he resigned his City Council position to take a job with the University of Houston, as their Vice President of Physical Planning and Operations and tasked to design their new campus in Clear Lake City, Texas.

He was a member of the Republican Party and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Clifton Miller passed away from melanoma at age 46 on 18 February 1977 and is buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. On 4 April 1977, City Mayor James Sharp made a motion at the City Council meeting to rename the Tustin Community Center the Clifton C Miller Community Center and it was unanimously passed with Resolution number 77-30. He is remembered for his devotion to his family, his high ideals, his enthusiasm, leadership, integrity, and dedication to the Tustin Community.