WASHINGTON — Joe Miller, an early pioneer in using the bar code that computerized retail sales and inventories, died Wednesday at his home in Lord’s Valley, Pa., of pancreatic cancer.
Miller, 82, worked on applying the bar code in retail settings while employed during the Fifties at Thalhimers Department Stores in Richmond, Va. He continued this work during the Sixties at the New York consulting firm of Touche, Ross, Bailey and Smart.
Born in Richmond, Miller served in the U.S. Navy from 1938 to 1945, first in Maine doing early radar research before being stationed in the South Pacific. After the war, he went to work as a retail specialist with UNIVAC, a division of Sperry Rand.
Miller ended his career as director of retail standards and technology for the National Retail Merchants Association. NRMA was a predecessor of the National Retail Federation.
Tracy Mullin, NRF president, said Miller’s death “is a great loss to the industry that he cherished. He will be fondly remembered… for his years of service to the retail community.”
Miller is survived by his wife, Lorraine; two daughters, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Sunday at Stroyan Funeral Home in Milford, Pa. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Sussex County Association for Retarded Citizens, 11 Route 206, Suite 100, Augusta, N.J. 07822.
This story first appeared in the April 14, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.