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Eight Bells: Jim Miles

Published on October 1st, 2014

James Joseph Miles – skier, sailor, golfer, sports fan, and consummate family man – died peacefully at home in Park City, Utah surrounded by his wife and children on Friday, September 26, 2014. Jim was 78 years of age.

Jim was born in New York City on June 20, 1936 to James Joseph and Marie Riordian Miles and spent his first thirty-four years living in the borough of Queens. He enjoyed a rich and joyful childhood growing up in New York, especially with a group of life-long friends dating back to kindergarten. The schoolyard and his buddies were the genesis for an extraordinary sense of humor and a zest for fun that defined his life.

When it came to his career, Jim’s choices were charmed. The halls of the National Broadcasting Company in Rockefeller Center were where he met his wife Susan. They both worked in television production, with Jim’s stint, there as Associate Producer of Concentration lasting ten years. The couple married in 1967 in Manhattan.

In 1970 he joined Ziff-Davis Publishing Company and began a career in advertising sales, the first ten years with Skiing magazine, followed by sixteen more with Yachting. Both life-style sports became his passions in which he engaged with gusto, sharing his enthusiasm with his wife and children who lived and loved his work/play life as much as he did.

After leaving New York City, the family resided in Westbrook, CT, during the Skiing years and subsequently relocated for Yachting to Newport, RI, where they became deeply entrenched in the sailing community. Among his proudest moments was becoming one of very few honorary members of Ida Lewis Yacht Club for the length and depth of his volunteer service.

Jim and Susan always planned for a post-retirement winter as ski bums in a western mountain town. Park City was the inspired choice in 1996 when Jim’s first bout with cancer prompted the couple to do it “sooner” rather than “later.” After seven years of winters in the mountains and summers by the ocean, the couple moved full-time to Park City, UT, to enjoy a year-round playground. Their two children and their families were also lured to the mountain town and live in the same Snyder’s Mill neighborhood. They all relished being the “gang of ten” at weekly family events and gatherings.

Jim’s 12 years as a resident of Park City were a solid continuation of pursuing his lifetime passions. He loved his part-time jobs at Deer Valley Resort and Promontory golf course and the great “bennies” they afforded him. He coached two all-women’s ice-hockey teams—the Black Diamonds of Salt Lake City and the Park City Predators. Jim headed the race committee for many years for the Park City Sailing Association’s Tuesday-night Laser races, and gave that group the expertise he crafted over many years in Newport, RI, and Auckland, New Zealand, where he served on the race team running the 1999-2000 America’s Cup challenger series for the New York Yacht Club.

In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his children Heather Miles Pike and Jay Miles, both of Park City. He treasured their spouses Buster Pike and Susan Strickland Miles. His love for his four grandchildren, Wyatt Pike, Hazel Pike, Parker Miles and Hadley Miles knew no bounds. They will miss his offerings of anything chocolate.

A celebration of life will be held at a time and place to be announced. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to Sail Newport or a charity of your choice.


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