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Boise State remembers Roy Miller, facilities system engineer

Roy Miller, a facilities systems engineer who worked at the university for nearly 20 years, died on Jan. 24.

Roy Miller headshot
Roy Miller, who worked for Boise State since 2002.

Miller came to Boise State in February of 2002. He initially managed the heating and cooling systems on campus. This included managing the maintenance of the university boilers and reviewing plans for new mechanical systems on campus. In 2014, Miller became associate director of facilities operations where he played a significant part in reviewing plans for Department of Public Works projects, and other capital projects with mechanical systems on campus.

“Roy had an eye for detail and I think, specifically, he enjoyed the challenge of being as thorough as possible,” said Barb Beagles, executive director of facilities, operations and maintenance. “His goal was to have every project completed as designed, with every ‘i’ dotted and ‘t’ crossed. He truly enjoyed diving into the details of mechanical systems, figuring out how our buildings were operating and what tweaks could be made to be more efficient.”

Miller was instrumental in plan review for both of the university’s newest buildings, the Center for Visual Arts and the Micron Materials Center for Materials Research. These projects were significant engineering challenges that Miller was involved in from concept to completion as the campus engineer.

“His expertise is one of the many reasons why these two projects turned out to be so successful,” Beagles said. “His favorite mantras were ‘We should get what we paid for’ and ‘Do your job.’ Two simple, effective phrases he lived by and something he has passed on to many of us in facilities.”

Randi McDermott, associate vice president for campus operations remembers Miller’s dedication to campus was evident from the first time they met. “When I first joined operations, I met with Roy so we could get to know each other better, but he only wanted to talk about systems and buildings on campus, what was happening in each one, and what needed to be addressed,” McDermott said. “He had a laundry list of issues and he wanted to make sure I was supportive of finding solutions. I have no doubt that our aging infrastructure has lasted longer than most because of the care and attention from Roy, and others like him.”

Coworkers remember Miller for having an exceptional memory, being able to recite the details of a project like he was reading off a set of plans, and for his sharp intellect.

Rocky Yoneda, a now-retired HVAC foreman who worked with Miller remembers his colleague’s knack for completing word and number puzzles on his lunch breaks. “In his 30-minute break, Roy would complete the Jumble, Sudoku, and the crossword puzzle each day,” Yoneda recalled. “He would finish the puzzles, then crumple the newspaper and toss it in the trash. The guys in the shop thought maybe he was guessing the answers, so they spot-checked his work from time to time, and each time those puzzles were 100% correct. He was just brilliant.”