that was the end of ken miller as far as the news goes. he was found in a ditch on april 2nd and he was homeless. there wasn't an obituary for ken in the paper. the homeless people i encounter daily spoke of ken and how he died for two or three days. i heard his name a few times after that but now there is silence. he is being forgotten and relegated to the hundreds of other homeless people that have died thru the years in wilmington under similar circumstances. his name is on the friendship organizations list of homeless clients who have passed away, but other than that there will no remembrance of ken. from what i understand he was buried in the indigents graveyard where many other homeless people have been put to rest when noone claims their body or makes arrangements for their funeral. i'm sure he will be briefly remembered when they ring the bell at the annual homeless day rememberance.
ken was in his 60's and a quiet man. he kept to himself most of the time. i saw him often in a few places around town. he would always have his red cart with the cardboard sign on the front that said, "god loves us all." the few times ken spoke, it would often include the fact that he had accepted god in his life and was trying to live a good life. in the mornings he would stand by the bus station across from the amtrak train station. he never spoke much but would always reply if you said good morning. after he left there he would go to the rvrc center where he had become a regular. he had begun to take better care of himself and seemed to enjoy being at the center. ken had two sons who lived in florida. he didn't speak of them much but i got the impression it had been quite awhile since he had seen them. the last time i spoke with ken before his death he was planning to see them before the summer was over. i'm not sure if that was a reality or just a wish that ken had. in any case he smiled when he spoke of them...every time. that particular day he had just gotten a haircut and trimmed his white beard and said, " i feel like a new man, how do i look?" i smiled but didn't reply. not because he didn't look better but it wasn't a question directed at me as much as it was a statement he was making that he felt like new man. ken never panhandled that i knew of. he made do with what he had, but seldom asked anyone for anything. he didn't eat or sleep at the sunday breakfast mission. he was one of the homeless people that just didn't want to be there. even during the harsh winter, from what i understand he didn't sleep there. he slept very close to where he died in that ditch early that morning, in an enclosed bus stop about fifty yards away. winter had passed, but that morning was still abit cold. it was the first of the month, so ken had money that nite, and like so many homeless people with addictions he had been drinking. if i had to speculate, i'd say alcohol and hypothermia was the cause of death. but that wasn't what took his life. what took his life was years of being homeless and feeling like there was no way out of it. i'm not sure if ken had a mental illness or not, but i'd say yes if i was asked. he is preceded in death by antito Rivera Bruce Gerrish Brian Casey Kenneth Johnson Matt Kane Stephen Joslin
Willie Harmon William "Gus" Gordon Leonard Bayliss and Martha Rose, all of whom were homeless and passed away thus far 2014.
rest in peace ken. i hope you have found your home. i know we failed you.
see you around town