Manor Moments

Resident Profile: Meet the Millers

January 2024

RESIDENT PROFILE: Meet Doug & Judy Miller
Interviewed and written by Debbie Tice

Judy Miller’s initial reaction to my profile interview request was, “Oh, no, we’re too boring. No one would be interested in us.” This response is consistent with the modest, low-key personalities of Doug and Judy Miller, but there is nothing boring about this warm and lovely couple.

Residents of the Pines since 2020, they moved here from nearby Annville. Doug grew up in Palmyra, learning about auto mechanics at an early age, shadowing his dad as he repaired cars at his used automobile business. By age six, Doug had his own creeper, jack, and small toolbox. When Doug was nine, his father moved the business from Palmyra to Campbelltown. One day, when he was in ninth or tenth grade, a woman brought in a dilapidated 1959 Studebaker in such bad shape that his father refused to take it in trade. Doug began toying with the engine, and when the owner noticed his interest, she gave him the car. With his father’s help, he managed to get it running and drove it through high school, mismatched fenders, dents, and all. It took 21 years, but eventually the car was restored to its original condition and official Studebaker Hawaiian-green color, and Doug still has it today!

After Doug graduated from college, he met Judy at a church retreat in Chambersburg. Judy had been raised on a dairy farm in Willow Street, PA, a small community south of Lancaster. She describes her childhood as idyllic, growing up among her father’s Brown Swiss cattle, raising calves for 4-H projects and enjoying home-made ice cream. (She and her family were appalled to learn that Doug had been eating soft-serve ice cream, a travesty to a dairy farmer!)  Judy had never even heard of Palmyra, but slightly over a year after meeting Doug, she was married and living there, later moving to Annville. Since high school, Judy had been working for Educators’ Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Lancaster. After her

marriage, she took a position with N. Londonderry Township, where she is still employed as a billing clerk and assistant secretary treasurer, a job she loves because of the diversity it affords. “Every day is different, and I really like variety.”

Doug’s business, in the Campbelltown location owned by his father, started as automotive repair, and later he added local and long-distance towing. Eventually, Doug chose to concentrate exclusively on towing, but he has always dabbled in the

mechanical restoration of antique cars. He has seen his fair share of accidents, always striving to avoid causing additional damage during recovery. He takes pride, he says, in knowing that he has always treated every vehicle, whether a Chevette or a Corvette, with the same care and respect. These days, most of the towing is local, but over the years Doug has logged over a million miles and met people from all over the world. When they were younger, he and Judy loved exploring the eastern seaboard and Canada by motorcycle, and his towing and antique car work has provided the couple with some interesting adventures, picking up and delivering cars throughout the U.S., often for international clients. For instance, they once traveled to Georgia to recover a stolen car, and to Chicago to deliver a vehicle for racecar driver Bobby Rahal’s brother. They have also driven numerous times to Indiana, delivering tons of donated items to a mission board’s national headquarters supported by their church.

Scaling back his long-distance towing has provided more time for Doug to indulge his passion for bringing non-functional antique cars back to life. He has worked on cars as diverse as a 1930 Model A Ford Roadster, a 1957 Volkswagen Beetle, a 1958 Edsel station wagon, a 1971 F250 Ford pickup, and the rarest of the rare—a 1921 Earl, one of only six in the world. There have been many others, far too numerous to catalog here, but it all began with that 1959 Studebaker he restored in high school.

After living 33 years in a two-story home in Annville, Judy and Doug decided to search for a home on one level. Initially they looked at communities closer to where they worked, but they fell in love with the bucolic setting, amenities, and warm atmosphere of Cornwall Manor. Moving to their Pines home in the depths of the COVID shutdown was difficult, but now that activities and services have returned to normal, Judy and Doug feel that “We have found the place where we belong.”