Jay Calvin Miller, known as “Jay-Bird”, 94, of Vero Beach, departed this life, at home, August 9, 2022.
Jay was born on October 10, 1927, in Hampton Township, PA. He was a resident of the Vero Beach area for over sixty years. In 1945, upon graduation from Hampton High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He was preceded in death by his wife, Priscilla, in 1990 and companion, Dorothy Leslie, in 2014.
After his naval service, he was a cab driver in Pittsburgh and started his own 15-piece band at age 19.
Jay worked at several locations in Vero Beach and delivered flowers for Hutchinson’s Floral Artistry until shortly before his death. He enjoyed the happiness that a delivery of flowers brings.
His well-known greeting, when meeting someone for the first time, “name a bird for me” always brought a smile as did his “tweet-tweet” goodbye.
Jay’s primary vocation was music. He was a drummer and percussionist. He began his music career in the fourth grade with the clarinet. Soon his teacher switched him to drums because no one else could carry the rhythm. He was an admirer of the famed band leader, Glenn Miller, and took big band as his signature sound.
He has been the leader and/or drummer in five bands that perform in Vero Beach and the Treasure Coast – The Jay Bird Band, the Jay Miller Orchestra, the Silver Tones, he was the first drummer for the 20th St. Jazz Band, and the oldest member of the Treasure Coast Symphony. Jay made regular appearances at Holman Stadium from 1962 to 2008, while the Dodgers trained in Vero Beach.
Jay is survived by son Frederick of West Palm Beach, daughter Amy of Fort Mill, SC; grandchildren Lindsay (and husband Von), Richard, Logan, and Landon; and great grandchildren Quincy and Simone and countless friends.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
His final resting place will be at Crossroads Cemetery, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Treasure Coast Symphony, https://www.treasurecoastsymphony.org/donate, or VNA Hospice, 901 37th St., Vero Beach 32960.
Arrangements are under the direction of Millennium Cremation Service of Vero Beach. Condolences may be shared online at www.millenniumcreationservice.com.
Our caring professionals are here to assist you and your family during this difficult time. We are available 24 hours, 7 days a week to assist in immediate arrangements or pre-arrangements.
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