The nation was still reeling from the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas; suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered and the Warren Commission was established to investigate rumors of a conspiracy in President Kennedy’s death.
The year was 1964.
While pursuing an engineering degree from the University of Idaho, Milford Miller accepted a part-time position with the Idaho Department of Highways during that same era – 43 years ago. Last week he bid a formal farewell to his colleagues at Headquarters and finished removing items from his secluded office that marked more than four decades of service to Idaho.
Miller reached the rule of 90 about eight years ago, qualifying for retirement, but he extended his career to ensure better financial stability and allow him to pursue other interests in retirement, including motorcycle tours, family visits and home improvement.
He turned a part-time position into professional career after earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the UI in 1966. As part of ITD’s Engineering in Training program, Miller made stops Shoshone, Boise and Osborne (districts 4 and 1 and Headquarters).
As a staff engineer and standards drawing engineer the past 20 years, Miller specialized in standard elements of highway project designs. His work is evident in project designs throughout the state.
He also has represented Idaho on a three-state coalition that was charged with standardizing design elements that transcend state borders, ensuring similar design requirements in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
Although he officially retired today (July 27), accrued annual leave allowed him to leave nearly a week early.
Miller was born in Tooele, Utah, but has lived in Idaho since age 6. He graduated from Burley High School.
ITD also lost the services of respected transportation planner Judy Harmon from Pocatello in District 5.
A former employee of Bannock County and Idaho State University, Harmon joined ITD in 1995 as a certified planner. She had a wealth of knowledge about the principles of transportation planning and the relationship between land use planning and transportation, said D-5 Engineer Ed Bala.
Harmon managed corridor plans for all of the district’s major routes, plans that have been the basis for making project selections and have served as references for traffic-related problems. “Without Judy’s experience and guidance, these plans would not be as useful as they have been,” Bala said.
Perhaps more important, Harmon also has been a strong voice in building and maintaining strong relationships with District 5 stakeholders, including local government and citizens.
“Whenever stakeholders had a question or an issue, Judy was accessible and provided answers quickly and correctly. Her experience, thoughtfulness and professionalism will be missed by all of us here in District 5," Bala added.
An open house is planned Wednesday (Aug. 1) in the conference room at District 5 Headquarters to allow colleagues an opportunity to express their thanks and best wishes in retirement.
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[Note: In an effort to better acknowledge the contributions of ITD retirees, the Transporter will include brief retirement messages as part of its Milestones section in future issues.
Supervisors, colleagues and friends of retirees are encouraged to send announcements of 3-4 paragraphs to the ITD Office of Communications. Please provide a high-resolution photograph of the retiree if one is available. Thank you for helping us appropriately say thanks for years of professional service to the department and the State of Idaho.)