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Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., the longest-serving state Senate president in U.S. history, will lie in state in the Maryland State House later this week before a private family funeral service and burial, a family spokesman announced Monday.
Miller, who served for five decades in the General Assembly, including 33 years as Senate president, died Friday after a long battle with cancer at the age of 78.
Yaakov Weissmann, chief of staff to Senate President Bill Ferguson, D-Baltimore City ― who held the same job under Miller ― said in a statement that Miller will lie in state in the rotunda of the Maryland State House on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person visitation will be limited to appointments for invited guests only. Visitors must remain socially distanced and masks will be required at all times, the statement said.
State House staff has increased air circulation, and created restricted walkways with marked-off standing spots. People entering the State House will be strongly encouraged to be tested for COVID-19, and will have to complete mandatory health and temperature screenings. The visitation will be streamed online.
Troopers who have previously served with Miller will provide an escort from the Lee Funeral Home in Miller’s hometown of Clinton, to the State House, passing by Miller’s law offices in Clinton and Dunkirk; the Prince George’s Fire Department in Clinton; Surrattsville High School in Clinton, Miller’s alma mater; Chesapeake Beach, where Miller and his wife lived for the past two-plus decades; the Dunkirk Fire Department; and Herrington Harbor in Chesapeake Beach, before arriving at the State House.
Well-wishers are encouraged to send him off from these outdoor locations ― a full schedule will be provided later this week ― but they are asked to wear masks and maintain proper social distancing protocols. A Maryland State Police procession will escort Miller from U.S. 50 Exit 24 to the State House. Evening visitation will be for family members only.
On Friday, visitation at the State House will be from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a pause for the previously-scheduled Senate session from noon to 2 p.m. At 7 p.m., the Maryland State Police will escort Miller from the Maryland State House to Route 50. Troopers who have previously served with Miller will provide an escort back to the Lee Funeral Home.
On Saturday, the family will hold a private mass and service at their family church, St. John the Evangelist in Clinton, followed by a private interment. The mass and service will be live streamed on the St. John the Evangelist Facebook page.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that contributions be made to the Calvert Health Cancer Foundation, the Dunkirk Fire Department, the Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. Center for Leadership at the College of Southern Maryland, or the Thomas V. Mike Miller Education Fund to support youth environmental education and career programs through the Chesapeake Bay Trust.