Henry F. Miller, 71, of Society Hill, a lawyer and community activist, died Thursday at home of an apparent heart attack or stroke.
For 45 years, Mr. Miller practiced real estate law with the firm of WolfBlock in Philadelphia. As a WolfBlock partner, he served several terms on its executive committee and for 10 years was chairman of the firm's real estate practice division. He enjoyed mentoring young lawyers, his family said.
During his career, Mr. Miller represented developers of shopping centers, high-rise office buildings, and industrial buildings and parks. "Henry was one of the most universally respected real estate lawyers in Philadelphia and in the country," said Herman Fala, who was also a partner at WolfBlock.
Since WolfBlock closed last year, Mr. Miller had been with the law firm of Cozen O'Connor.
Mr. Miller grew up in Wynnefield and Penn Valley and graduated from Germantown Academy. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lafayette College, where he was captain of the swim team, and earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He was a law clerk to a judge in U.S. District Court in Delaware before joining WolfBlock. He was a veteran of the Army Reserve.
Mr. Miller served as a Big Brother, and he was president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Philadelphia in the 1980s. His father, Lester Miller, served on the Big Brothers Big Sisters board. In 1988, Mr. Miller and his father received public-service awards from the organization.
Mr. Miller and his father, who died in 1996, both served terms as president of the Jewish Family and Children's Services of Greater Philadelphia. Mr. Miller also served on the board and was solicitor for the Association of Jewish Family and Children's Agencies.
An accomplished bicyclist, Mr. Miller completed a 660-mile ride over three days in Oregon, from Eugene to Crater Lake, three years ago. Last summer, Mr. Miller spent a week cycling 50 miles a day in the mountains of Vermont, said his son, Andrew.
He regularly cycled Saturday mornings, and then he and his wife, Barbara Gendell Miller, spent the rest of the weekend helping to care for his three grandchildren, their son said.
In addition to his wife of 47 years, son, and grandchildren, Mr. Miller is survived by a daughter, Alexa, and a sister.
The funeral was yesterday at Joseph Levine & Son Memorial Chapel, Trevose. Burial was in Roosevelt Memorial Park, Trevose.