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Alvah “Tug” Miller Jr., a campground industry pioneer who served as co-executive director of California’s first campground association with his wife, Judy, for more than two decades, died last week after complications of old age. He was 83.

According to officials from the CampCalNow Campground and RV Park Alliance (CampCalNOW), Miller was a co-executive director of the California Travel Parks Association (CTPA), the California campground and RV park advocacy organization operated out of Auburn, Calif., since 1981. He also served on the board of the National Campground Owners Association (NCOA), the precursor of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC).

Miller became an effective advocate for park operators after owning and operating the Auburn Kampgrounds of America (KOA) in Auburn for more than a decade.

“Having known Miller for more than 30 years, I know that the park industry is far better off because of Miller’s involvement, expertise and leadership,” said David Gorin, a longtime campground industry consultant who helped transform ARVC into a national voice for the campground industry. “Miller’s fingerprints are all over the industry, especially in California, one of America’s premier camping destinations.

“From owning an RV park, to serving as co-executive director of the California park industry association with his wife, Judy, to serving on the national board of ARVC, to his invaluable work representing the industry on Panel 19 of the National Electrical Code, Miller was always on the spot working tirelessly for park owners,” he continued. “The world is run by the people who show up and Miller always showed up for the park industry. We’ll all miss Miller, but I know I’m better off for having known and worked alongside him.”

A native of Westchester County, N.Y., Miller served in the U.S. Army Security Agency in Warrington, Va., and met his wife, Judy, on a blind date while visiting friends at Scripps College in California. They later got married and lived in several different states, including Virginia, New Jersey and Indiana, while Miller pursued different job opportunities and Judy worked as a teacher. While living in Marion, Ind., Miller was the purchasing agent for Anaconda Wire & Cable.

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