Patent holding alum awarded honorary doctorate degree

By Website Administrator | Apr 10, 2002

Omer E. Miller, a 1939 graduate of Kettering University/GMI, successful entrepreneur and long-time resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C., received an honorary doctorate degree of engineering from Kettering University April 19.

Omer E. Miller, a 1939 graduate of Kettering University/GMI, successful entrepreneur and long-time resident of Myrtle Beach, S.C., received an honorary doctorate degree of engineering from Kettering University April 19.

Kettering President James E.A. John and John Lorenz, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, conferred the degree during a reception held at the Dunes Golf and Country Club in Myrtle Beach. More than 60 of Miller's family and closest friends attended the Friday evening celebration, which included a cocktail reception, gourmet dinner and a golf outing Saturday morning. Bryon Miller, son of Omer, served as master of ceremonies and invited guests to recount stories of the elder Miller during the celebration.

Omer E. Miller was born in 1914 in Dayton, Ohio, and earned a two-year engineering certificate from Kettering/GMI. He began his career with Inland Manufacturing as a GMI co-op student and served in the Air Force during in the Pacific Theatre during World War II, finishing his military career as a lieutenant colonel. In 1946, he founded a company in the water conditioning industry, which evolved into the Porta-Soft Company. During his remarkable career, he developed several fully automatic water conditioners and won 12 patents for his work in the field.

Additionally, he loves golf and owns Heather Glens and Possum Trot golf courses in South Carolina, both of which were rated by "Golf Digest" magazine as two of the best public courses in the country. Mr. Miller is also a staunch supporter of his alma mater. He and his wife Joan established the Omer and Joan Miller Fund, a creativity scholarship that provides creative students at Kettering the means to pursue ideas considered innovative and creative in the business world, two components Mr. Miller believes are essential for success in today's competitive marketplace. Together, he and his wife have four children and several grand and great grand children.