Lifelong Long Beach resident Roy "Bunny" Miller passed away peacefully and lovingly at home at the grand age of 92.
Born on Easter Sunday at LB Community Hospital, the nursing staff nicknamed him Bunny. He enjoyed the nickname and as he grew, he introduced himself as Bunny and the name stuck.
Bunny spent his entire life in Long Beach and attended Lowell Elementary, Rogers Jr. High and Wilson High School. Growing up in Belmont Shore, he was a "water kid" and relished swimming, body surfing, snorkeling, diving, and surfing on the great Long Beach coastline. Bunny's dad, Dutch Miller was a Long Beach Lifeguard pioneer and longtime Chief who invented and developed much of the lifeguarding techniques and lifesaving equipment we see today. With this as his foundation plus Bunny's love of the water and surf, it was only natural that he would join the "family business" and become a lifeguard. Bunny would serve the City of Long Beach proudly for over 33 yrs. in various capacities.
He initially guarded the old Bath-House Plunge and upon turning 18 embarked on his lifeguarding career for the city on the beach at Linden Ave. He then became a rescue boat operator and eventually was promoted to Skipper of the lifeguard rescue boats.
Bunny, along with fellow lifeguard Ralph Blood and community activist and popular restaurateur, Don May were instrumental in developing and setting up the first "Christmas Trees" in Alamitos Bay that has now become a welcoming, renowned and beloved tradition of the holiday season in Long Beach.
In 1955 he met Melba "Jeanie" DuBrock as she was visiting family in Naples. Jeanie grew up in Chatsworth out in the San Fernando Valley and spent many summers in Belmont Shore working at her Aunt and Uncle's several retail shops in Belmont Shore. It wasn't long before they both knew that they were meant for each other and they married in January 1956 in Laguna Beach and their reception was held at Victor Hugo's, which is now the location of the famous Las Brisas restaurant. The happy couple settled in Belmont Shore and over the next few years welcomed three children into the fold: Teri, Tami and Jimmy.
Bunny retired from the city in 1979 and not one to stay idle, began working for the Long Beach Unified School District building and refurbishing many of the board games and equipment used on the school playgrounds. Bunny spent many days on the water with Jeanie, family and friends either at the family dock on the canals of Naples or in their Duffy. He had an inherent love of the natural beauty of Baja and much of his free time was spent traveling south to enjoy fishing and diving. Eventually, he and Jeanie would spend months at a time at their vacation home in Baja CA Sur.
Bunny was a longtime member of the Long Beach Elks Lodge #888. He was also involved with volunteering in many of the Long Beach events: the Long Beach Special Olympics, carnivals, booster clubs, parades, the Grand Prix and various civic fundraisers. Bunny was a true Long Beach legend and his legacy and memory will live on. He is survived by his wife Jeanie of 64 yrs., daughters Teri Young (Kevin), Tami, and son Jim (April), grandchildren Nicole Young, Trent Young, Cade Miller, Delaney, and Kaden Falsken, cousin Dick Miller (Melva), sister-in-law Marjean DuBrock, and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
The family suggests those wishing to donate in Bunny's name may do so to help with the refurbishing of the Long Beach Lifeguard Museum located on the southside of Marine Stadium: Payable to Long Beach Lifeguard Assoc. PO Box 14405 Long Beach, CA 90853. Please indicate "Museum" on the check memo.
Published in Gazette Newspapers from Feb. 4 to Feb. 12, 2021.