Jim Miller and daughter Kathy Gendel

James C. Miller, former president of Strouss Department Stores, died on Jan. 20.

The cause of death was due to complications from cancer. Miller was 97.

Born on Nov. 30, 1919, Miller began his career at F&R Lazarus & Co. in Columbus, Ohio. He began as a stock boy and worked his way up to divisional merchandise manager.

At the age of 45, he went back to school to get a college degree. He earned a marketing degree from Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Following college, he joined The May Department Stores Co. in 1966 as vice president of Branch Stores in Cleveland. In 1974, Miller became executive vice president of the Strouss Department Store division of May and then served as president of Strouss from 1978 until his retirement in 1982.

Strouss, originally known as Strouss-Hirshberg, operated in Ohio and Pennsylvania. It was acquired by May Department Stores in 1947, when it became known as Strouss. May merged Strouss with its Kaufmann division in 1986. Federated Department Stores, which merged with R.H. Macy & Co. in 1994, acquired May in 2005, and the Kaufmann division was later converted to Macy’s in 2006. In 2007, Federated was re-branded as Macy’s Inc.

Miller is survived by three children. Daughter Kathy Gendel is the founder and chief executive officer of The Gendel Girls, the family behind QVC’s largest intimate apparel brand, Breezies.