In Loving Memory of Jeff Miller
Fambul is Krio for family, and at The Raining Season, we often say we are wan fambul [one family]. That means in happy times we rejoice and celebrate together, and in hard times, we mourn together. It is with great sadness that we share the passing of a longtime member of the TRS family, Jeff Miller. Jeff passed away in Sierra Leone on November 13, 2022, after a short, sudden illness. Jeff is survived by his wife Cheryl and his two sons in Sierra Leone, Sheku and Sulaiman.
Jeff radiated love and compassion, so it is no surprise that he and his wife Cheryl were two of The Raining Season’s very first supporters after learning about TRS through our first partner church in Las Vegas, Nevada. They began sponsoring in 2010, and he took his first of many trips to our center shortly after. Jeff also served as a board member for TRS up until his passing and was a big supporter of The Roots Project.
If you knew Jeff, you loved him. He was loved by our children, our staff, each team member he traveled with, our board, and so many others outside of the TRS community. He was lovingly known as Uncle Boom by our children and staff because his favorite tradition in-country was yelling “Boom…” as every child and adult of all ages would call back “Shaka-la-ka.” Everyone loved Uncle Boom! He also often used his musical talents and ability to play the African drums to play right alongside our kids.
Jeff lived a life full of adventure. He enlisted in the US Army at the age of seventeen and served tours of duty in Vietnam as well as state-side. He served as a volunteer for the National Disaster Medical Service as a Logistics Officer, and at age fifty, he earned his pilot’s license. Jeff was an extraordinary musician, a master of the guitar, African drums, and Native American-style flute. On more than one occasion, Jeff and Cheryl serenaded Freetown from their balcony when they would play their flutes in the morning.
Sheri Barnett, a fellow board member and team leader, shared a tribute to Jeff at a memorial service at our center in Sierra Leone. “Jeffrey’s legacy lives on!! Nothing can take this away from us. His legacy lives on through the love of Cheryl, his boys, and his family and friends. His legacy lives on in the smiles and every hug of our beloved Raining Season children. Jeffrey lives on in the TRS mission and staff members that reflect God’s purpose in the work done here every single day. Jeffery, your light will shine on.”
Our in-country Director, Sorie Kamara, also shared about Jeff’s passing, “The happiness gave way to sadness when our brother, our father, our friend and ever-present supporter and a board member of TRS was called home by the Lord. Our hearts were broken, and sadness took over us. Uncle Boom, as he was fondly called by all at the center, was a loving and caring individual who always traveled whenever the opportunity presented itself to come and serve the children he had loved so much. He loved music, especially the beating of the African drums. The children and staff of TRS will always miss him until we see you again in heaven, goodbye Uncle Jeff.”