North Carolina Artist Captures Historic Buildings and People’s Hearts
August 22, 2023
The Templeton of Cary senior living community in Cary, North Carolina was built with a great abiding respect to the city’s roots and prestigious legacy. The community itself is named in tribute to one of the town’s first doctors, Dr. James Templeton, and interior spaces have been named in honor of other revered area residents. One such honoree, Jerry Miller, along with his wife, Jean, have recently become residents of the senior living community which boasts the Jerry Miller Art Studio…in homage to him! A highly acclaimed artist, Miller is well-known throughout the area.
From Architect to Artist
A native of Sanford, North Carolina, Jerry has devoted 60-plus years of his life to his career, starting as a successful architect and then transitioning to a pen and ink and watercolor artist. His specialty is drawing buildings and historic sites located in North Carolina. His work was first published in Around and About Cary, a book containing illustrations of interesting sites in Cary. “I think I made about $250 on that first book,” he says. The publication might not have been a big money-maker, but it highlighted Jerry’s talent, and soon other communities wanted him to draw illustrations of their historic sites and structures.
Artwork Gifted to Two U.S. Presidents
His business boomed, and he went on to sell his pen and ink drawings and watercolors to private collections, municipalities, state governments, and other entities. He was even commissioned by the local Republican Party to make drawings given to two presidents: Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The illustration for Reagan was of the Bell Tower at North Carolina State University; the one for Bush was of the Duke University Chapel. He was able to personally hand the illustration to Bush, who, along with Reagan, sent letters of thanks to him for his efforts as an artist and as a volunteer for various organizations in the greater community of Cary.
Promoting Local Arts Community
While he was busy doing his pen and ink drawings and later watercolors, he also was promoting the local arts community. It was his idea to start the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival, which has been running for nearly 50 years in Cary. The festival started with about 100 artists. Today, it features approximately 325. It has grown along with the community of Cary.
Jerry’s contribution to the arts scene in Cary was recognized when a bronze bust of him was unveiled in 2022 at the Arts Center.
Along the way, he also made an impact on other community organizations. He was a member of the first Jaycees Club in Cary and served twice as president of the Cary Chamber of Commerce.
Befriending and Supporting The Templeton of Cary
Krista Lemery, executive director of The Templeton of Cary, first met Jerry at the Cary Rotary Club, of which he was a founding member. “I joined in order to have a great relationship with area businesses, and Jerry stepped up and helped us learn about Cary, its history, and the movers and shakers,” Krista says.
Jerry quickly became a good friend to The Templeton of Cary, sharing artwork to grace the walls of the community, and attending programs and events.
He even led the community’s first 4th of July parade, riding in a rickshaw. “It was a very small parade; we’d just opened and there were only ten or so people there. But he treated it like it was Macy’s Thanksgiving parade,” says Krista. “That’s how special he is.”
Jerry fell in love with The Templeton of Cary and the feeling is mutual. “Everybody loves Jerry. He’s just a delightful person,’ Krista says.
Moving to The Templeton of Cary was a good decision for the Millers. “We no longer have any of the responsibilities or worries of maintaining a house,” Jerry says.
Jean is involved with the community’s Bible Study which meets weekly. “They’re studying the Word, which is good for all of us,” she says, adding that she’s very happy to be living at The Templeton of Cary. Jerry is enjoying an active life at the senior living community, where he uses the fitness room and does water aerobics classes in the saltwater pool.
“It’s such a nice community. It’s been a wonderful move,” he says.
The Templeton of Cary
The Templeton of Cary is a luxury rental retirement community located on a picturesque campus in Cary, North Carolina, named by Money Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Best Places to Live,” and lauded for proximity to world-renowned medical centers and universities. The Templeton of Cary offers independent living that supports a vibrant lifestyle for active seniors. Swift Creek Health Center, located onsite, offers assisted living, memory support, rehabilitation, and skilled nursing care for both residents of the community and surrounding area, thus providing a continuum of care for seniors. The Templeton of Cary is owned and operated by Liberty Senior Living, LLC, a division of Liberty Healthcare Management that specializes in senior living and retirement communities. To learn more about The Templeton of Cary, visit www.TheTempletonOfCary.com. To learn more about Liberty Senior Living and the communities they offer, please visit www.LibertySeniorLiving.com