In Memory of Charles Miller

Charles Miller

Charles Miller

A dear friend and significant part of the ISW family passed away on September 21, 2015. Many people who knew and loved Charles will miss him.

Charles Miller, as a faculty member at Santa Rosa Junior College, was instrumental in the mid-‘80s in bringing the ISW model to the United States. Over the next 20 years, Charles continued to proliferate the ISW throughout California and beyond. Charles worked to enhance and modify the program through the development of the Technology Mediated Teaching and Presentation Skills workshops variants of the model. Charles was a facilitator in the truest sense of the word. He made everything so much more “facile.” As a trainer, he wanted nothing more than to see the work he did become sustainable in the institutions he visited, whether it was ISW, Appreciative Inquiry, or a host of other training programs, which he offered.

Drop a pebble in the water
And in a flash it’s gone.
But half-a-hundred ripples
Circle on and on and on.
Spreading from the center
Flowing out into the sea.
There is no way of telling
Where their end
Is going to be
-James W. Foley

The ripples created by Charles have spread and grown in more ways than he could ever have imagined. He was a gentle soul, compassionate and sensitive to others. His value system was unshakable. His priorities in life involved bringing out the best in everyone he touched.

Charles was my friend, my mentor, my shoulder to cry on, at times. He was my co-trainer often. I will always remember what I learned about flip-chart creation (and I can tear off a flip chart page with ease, now) from him. I could count on Charles when I needed quiet, or when I wanted to shout. He was always there to listen and to advise. He was quick to ask, “What was the best part about…” at the perfect time, and was eager to share his best moments, as well. He will remain in my heart forever. Each time I facilitate a workshop or training, I carry a bit of Charles with me.

Charles knew that “It’s in every one of us to be wise.” He approached his life, and the world with his eyes and heart open. The light that Charles brought to this world will shine brightly for generations to come.

There will be a celebration of his life in Santa Rosa, CA on Saturday, October 10.

-Kay Weiss

It’s In Every One of Us
David Pomeranz



3 thoughts on “In Memory of Charles Miller

  1. I am deeply saddened to learn of Charles’ passing…Charles was one of my trainers, along with Earl Bloor and Diane Morrison, in 1987 when I participated in one of the first FDWs in California. Charles was my Trainer trainer the following year. He also was instrumental in organizing several of us from those early FDWs to attend Potlatch a week after we completed our FDW…and my teaching and personal life were never the same. (I met my now husband at that first Potlatch :-). I kept in touch with Charles over the years and learned so much from his ongoing thoughtfulness and professional and personal reflection. I can’t begin to thank him for all he gave to me, to us the ISW community, and to all those with whom he connected. A huge loss to us all…

  2. He was such a wonderful mentor to so many of us. He was a remarkable person who will be sorely missed… My thoughts are with his family.

  3. Charles’ passion for helping people realize more of themselves, for helping people achieve more of their dreams (indeed, discovering their dreams) was a beacon for me. From the first time we met until the last time we talked, he was consistent and persistent. There are a few people in our lives that help us “raise our possibilities” and Charles was one who did that for many people. He and Nancy Stetson trained me to be an ISW facilitator and I had the pleasure of going to many workshops Charles put on at NCSPOD. Clear, steady, thoughtful advice, always oriented toward helping others realize more. A quiet leader.

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