Todd Miller, a competitive skier and fixture at Sunday River in Newry, died June 3 after suffering a heart attack. He was 53.

Miller was well-known in Portland and Bethel’s 12-step recovery communities.

Todd Miller Photo courtesy of the Miller family

He was remembered by friends and family Wednesday as an avid outdoorsman who lived life to its fullest. At the same time, friends say, he struggled for years with alcoholism.

“He was exuberant, passionate, vibrant, full of zest, and full of life despite his challenges,” said Roger Beaudoin, Miller’s friend for the past 26 years. “He was someone who literally lost everything in his life, (but) never lost his personality and passion for the things he was passionate about. Right until the end, he was still a vibrant person. He was still an amazing skier. He was a great fisherman. He was all sorts of things.”

Miller grew up in Wakefield, Rhode Island, on a Christmas tree farm. He and his two brothers, Stephen and Dexter Miller, lived two miles from the ocean and five miles from a local ski area. Miller’s father owned an A-frame house in Mount Snow, Vermont. Miller and his brothers skied there often as kids.

He graduated from South Kingston High School in 1984 and went on to study communications at the University of Rhode Island, graduating in 1989.

Stephen Miller said Wednesday his older brother was an awesome person.

“I’ll miss his energy,” Stephen said. “His energy was just overwhelming. He never sat. He just always kept going. He would push me to keep going.”

Miller moved to Maine in 1994. He skied and worked in the marketing department at Sunday River Resort.

When American Skiing Co. formed in 1996, Miller began traveling to ski resorts across the country, where he skied and put on major events.

Miller, who had a passion for mountain biking, ran the popular Trail 66 Mountain Bike Race Series. Most recently, he was manager of the tuning shop at the resort’s South Ridge Lodge. Beaudoin said Miller operated the resort’s state-of-the-art tuning machine and often held demonstrations for guests.

“He was so passionate about what he was doing,” Beaudoin said. “Being back at Sunday River meant so much to him and so much to me. Todd was surrounded by people he knew and loved. A lot of people had great respect for him, despite his challenges. … He was a hard worker. He had a hard work ethic.”

Miller lived in Portland for more than a decade. He worked for Pierce Promotions and Event Management in Portland. He also worked for EMG 3, an event management company in Falmouth.

Miller was a father of two children: Lydia Miller, 14, and Evan Miller, 16. Patrice Cappelletti, Miller’s ex-wife, said his passing is a big loss for their kids. She said he was an awesome person but struggled to overcome his problem with alcohol.

Cappelletti described Miller as “charismatic” and “cool.”

“He was such a blast to be with and then he wasn’t,” she said. “I want to celebrate Todd. I have a soul contact with him. That soul contract goes on forever. He chose the path he chose and somehow he got lost along the way. I don’t know what that is, but the time we were together was extraordinary. He lives in my two children. They carry him. They carry his passions.”

Russ Murley, a close friend who skied and hiked with Miller for years, said he struggled.

“I was doing everything I could do to help keep him sober,” Murley said. “When he was all in, he was all in. … When he was sober, everyone loved Todd. He was outgoing and very personable. He loved to be outside. He loved to ski. Loved to hunt. Loved to fish. Loved to hike. The happiest I’ve ever seen him was Christmas Day when he was skiing with his kids.”

Miller had a family history of heart disease. On June 3, Oxford County sheriff’s deputies responded to Miller’s home in Bethel after a friend expressed concern about his well-being. Deputies found his body. Miller has suffered a massive heart attack.

Miller’s cousin Tammy Dequattro of South Kingston, Rhode Island, said she will miss his laugh.

“I keep hearing his laugh,” Dequattro said. “I keep hearing his laugh and it brings me to tears every time I think about him. He was a fun, fun guy. I loved him so much. Everyone that knew him loved him. He was just really engaging, wonderful and fun. He enjoyed life a lot. It’s sad that it’s been cut so short.”

A celebration of his life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Barker Lodge at Sunday River.

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