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Former Monroe County Family Court Judge Michael Miller has died

Michael Miller, a former Monroe County Family Court Judge, and longtime area political leader and town board member in Brighton, has died at the age of 85.
Brighton Memorial Chapel
Michael Miller, a former Monroe County Family Court Judge, and longtime area political leader and town board member in Brighton, has died at the age of 85.

A longtime local attorney, judge and political leader has died. Michael Miller, a former Monroe County Family Court Judge and Chair of the Monroe County Democratic Committee, died on Wednesday at the age of 85.

Miller earned his law degree at Syracuse University and returned to Rochester to practice law with his father. According to the obituary posted by Brighton Memorial Chapel, he practiced law in Rochester for 50 years.

Miller served as a Monroe County Family Court Judge from 1990-2000. Before that, he led the Monroe County Democratic Committee for two years, and previously also served as a councilman for the Town of Brighton for 16 years.

One Brighton political leader who knew Miller well was Town Supervisor Bill Moehle, who said on Friday that he was “devastated" to hear of Miller’s passing, and said that Miller was someone he had turned to for decades as someone who “could always give good counsel, as someone whose heart…was going to be in the right place.”

Moehle said that when he thinks of people who made a difference in Brighton, “Michael Miller’s name is right at the top of the list.”

Former Brighton Town Supervisor Sandra Frankel is also a Democrat, and said she was mentored by Miller and was influenced by him in having an approach that was not “hardcore” partisanship. She said that was part of Miller’s legacy, in terms of looking for ways “to serve together and find ways to get good things done.”

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Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson worked with him when Miller headed up the county Democratic party, and said Miller was caring and compassionate, and “a man of great integrity.”

Johnson said Miller was very good at being to work across political party lines and said that “he made profound contributions to this community in a lot of ways.”

According to his obituary, Miller lived his life by two principles set forth by Rabbi, philosopher and teacher Abraham Joshua Herschel. The first is that, “There is no unimportant act of kindness,” and the second, “God is hiding in the world, it is up to us to reveal God through our deeds.”

Miller was the recipient of a number of community awards including the Nathaniel Award for outstanding service to the legal community and the Hannah G. Solomon Humanitarian Award from the National Council of Jewish Women.

Services for Michael Miller will be held Sunday, July 7, 11 a.m. at Temple B’rith Kodesh on Elmwood Avenue.

Shiva will be observed from 3 – 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and 5 – 7 p.m. on Monday at Temple B’rith Kodesh.

There is more information about the memorial arrangements at

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.