Cutchogue resident William A. “Billy” Miller died on April 1, 2021. He was 71.
Billy was born July 10, 1949, in Queens, one of eight children born to Walter and Catherine (O’Keefe) Miller, with seven sisters.
After a tour as a Marine in Vietnam in 1970, he returned home to the love of his life, Rita Joan Cancilliere, and built a loving family.
A lifelong member of International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 52 in New York City, Billy worked as a key grip on motion pictures since 1975, including such films as “Prince of the City,” “Daniel,” “Terms of Endearment,” “The Silence of the Lambs,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Philadelphia,” “Beloved” and “The Sixth Sense,” to name a few.
Later in his career, Billy was chosen by then-Mayor Bloomberg and the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting (now Office of Media and Entertainment) to develop a program to attract, train and employ diverse and economically disadvantaged young people as film technicians. The initiative remains in place today and there are numerous young people working in the film business as members of Local 52 as a result of his training.
After retirement from the film industry, when not traveling the world with his bride, Billy remained active on the East End of Long Island, in the hamlet of Cutchogue, sailing, riding bikes, running summer camps for his grandchildren and fixing town clocks.
He belonged to the Peconic Bay Sailing Association and the St. Patrick’s Parish Council.
He is survived by his loving wife, Rita Joan; his three children, Jennifer Valentino (Carl), Billy Miller (Sara) and Mary Valentino (Chris); as well as nine loving grandchildren: Jack, Will, Luke, Sean, Teddy, Max, Ben, Alex and, finally, his true princess, Violet. He is also survived by his seven sisters.
A wake will be held Tuesday, April 6, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue, with a funeral Mass on Wednesday, April 7, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church in Southold.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested for St. Ignatius School, 740 Manida St., Bronx, NY 10474.
This is a paid notice.