Goshen College mourns sudden death of professorBy Sheldon C. Good Mennonite Weekly Review
The Goshen College community is mourning the death of longtime professor James S. Miller, who was killed during a home invasion Oct. 9.
Miller, 58, who taught biology at the college since 1980, and his wife, Linda, were attacked in an attempted robbery around 1 a.m. at their home. They live about two blocks east of campus.
Miller was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of his injuries. An autopsy Oct. 10 revealed “multiple blunt force and sharp force trauma,” according to Elkhart County Coroner John White. His death was ruled a homicide.
Linda Miller was struck by an unknown object and seriously injured before she called 911.
At press time on Oct. 12 she was recovering in the hospital. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
The Millers are members of Clinton Frame Mennonite Church in Goshen, where Linda is interim pastor of children’s ministries. They have three children, two of whom live at home but were returning from a high school activity and not present during the attack.
About 500 students, colleagues, friends and community members gathered at 8 p.m. Oct. 9 on campus to mourn Miller’s death, celebrate his life and hold a prayer vigil.
The group circled the plaza outside the Science Building where Miller taught, holding candles and singing hymns. As the vigil ended, President Jim Brenneman noted the group’s collective grief.
“We believe deeply that as we light these candles, we do so in remembrance, in recognition and with a profound belief that light overcomes darkness and that the darkness cannot bear the light,” he said.
Bob Yoder, campus pastor, prayed for the Miller family, the community, the perpetrator and everyone involved in the ongoing investigation.
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