Franklin B. Miles, Jr.

Franklin B. Miles, Jr., of Hanover, New Hampshire, died on February 19, 2024, of a brain hemorrhage after a fall. He was 84 years old.

Born on March 7, 1939, in Elkhart, Indiana, to Janet S. Miles and Franklin B. Miles, Sr., Frank later attended The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and earned his B.A. in political science and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees from Yale University.

An avid outdoorsman, Frank enjoyed a life-changing ski weekend in 1959 in Stowe, Vermont with college friends. It was there that a young Wellesley student, Nancy Hastings, swept him off his feet. They married in 1963 and celebrated their 60th anniversary last June.

Frank began his career in public education teaching in North Haven, Connecticut. He and Nancy welcomed two daughters before moving to Hanover in 1969. Frank taught social studies at Hanover High School from 1969 to 1986, passionately honing curriculum and challenging students to improve their critical thinking, research, and writing abilities.

His curiosity for all aspects of public education led him to complete a master’s degree in school administration at the University of New Hampshire. He served two years as an administrator at the Concord (NH) high school before becoming principal of the high school in Cape Elizabeth, Maine in 1988.

When the Maine College of Art in Portland expanded its degree program in the 1990s, Frank was asked to share his expertise in curriculum development. He served multiple terms on the board and enjoyed his involvement in the arts community. After serving for a decade in administrative, consulting, teaching, and board roles in public education in Maine, Frank retired in 1998.

Frank soon turned his active mind towards his lifelong interest in land, ecology, and agriculture. His fascination with varied working landscapes was first inspired in high school, while stacking hay on a Montana ranch for two summers.

In retirement, Frank’s volunteer activities focused on Maine agricultural land conservation and local food endeavors. In 1999, he was one of the founding members of Maine Farmland Trust, which he served in many capacities over two decades, including representing MFT for many years on the Agricultural Council of Maine. On a smaller scale, alongside Nancy, Frank applied his love of the land to carefully tending their abundant backyard gardens wherever they lived.

Frank’s additional varied hobbies included hiking, camping, swimming, flyfishing and fly tying, woodworking, bread baking, and birdwatching. He enjoyed tinkering with and using a minor flotilla of canoes, kayaks, and small motorboats. Frank was known for building and tending bluebird nesting boxes, while encouraging others to embrace the simple joy of birdwatching.

Frank eagerly met people from different backgrounds and cultures, a trait he passed on to his daughters. His diverse collection of music was surpassed only by his assortment of books. He read voraciously and loved to share and discuss all the latest news—including High Country News reports about the American West, education innovations, and energy/environmental policy developments.

In addition to Frank’s numerous lifelong pursuits, he was a devoted and doting husband, father, and grandfather. With his family, Frank wore many hats, both literally and figuratively, instructing in many pastimes from cribbage to carpentry, from backpacking and swimming to how to tie just the right knot.

After living in Maine for 30 years, Frank and Nancy returned to Hanover in 2019, where they became active members of the Kendal at Hanover retirement community and reconnected with numerous colleagues and friends from the Upper Valley.

In the last few years of his life, Frank worked with a medical team and Kendal support group as he adjusted to living with Parkinson’s disease. Frank’s family thanks the expert and compassionate healthcare teams at Kendal at Hanover and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for their care of Frank during his final years and his passing.

Left to treasure their many happy memories of Frank are his wife, Nancy (Hastings) Miles, of Hanover, New Hampshire; his daughters Deborah Miles Czech (Richard) of Saratoga Springs, New York, and Lisa Miles, of Portland, Oregon; two grandchildren, Anna Czech and Joshua Czech; and a sister, Dorinda Miles Smith, of Lebanon, New Hampshire.

A celebration of Frank’s life for family and friends will be held at Kendal at Hanover, 67 Cummings Road, Hanover, NH on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests considering a memorial donation to Maine Farmland Trust or Senior Stewards Acting for the Environment, a non-profit focused on the climate crisis.