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Miles Amen Obituary

Miles Scott  Amen
Miles Scott Amen

February 24, 1952 - May 17, 2017
Born in Norfolk, Nebraska
Resided in San Francisco, CA


Miles was born in February 1952 and grew up in Johnny Carson's hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. He remained in the Cornhusker State—attending school and working—until the mid-1970s when he heard a siren song from the distant San Francisco Bay Area. For his remaining 42 years (until the moment he left us in May), Miles appreciated the Bay Area's embrace of progressive values, diversity, and acceptance.

Miles is survived by his husband and best friend of 24 years, Christopher Magan; the extended Magan family; his mother, Wilma; his daughter, Koreen Joseph, her husband Dan and their daughters Aley and Andrea; his sister Deb Goad and her family; his brother Jeff Amen and his family. Miles was preceded in death by his father, Ed.

Miles received a Bachelor of Arts in Health Services Administration from Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California. In 1979, with the help of several highly-supportive mentors, Miles entered the then new field of computer science. Using his extensive experience in both healthcare and computer technology, he was involved in—and eventually spearheaded—cutting-edge clinical information technology initiatives throughout his career.

Miles was passionate about travel and did so extensively. He obtained a private pilot's license when he was just 19 and still living in Lincoln, Nebraska. Later, as a passenger, he and Christopher journeyed many times across the globe. They particularly loved Maui and Paris, and, in fact, chose a small park adjacent to Paris' Sacré Coeur to exchange wedding rings and vows in September 1995.

In addition to carrot cake, meatloaf, Mom's rhubarb pie, Lily Tomlin, Harold & Maude, and 80's dance music, Miles loved shopping at the Ferry Building's Saturday Farmer's Market, returning home to cook fabulous feasts for friends and family. He was an avid runner who pounded the Embarcadero pavement, and he especially enjoyed running the Bay to Breakers race (fully clothed).

Miles greatly admired the work of Project Open Hand, where, for several years, he joined the big-hearted staff and fellow volunteers to peel potatoes and chop cases of onions in their love-filled kitchen. He also sang with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus in its infancy, and, for over a decade, shook his groove thang as an aerobics instructor.

In late 2013, Miles was diagnosed with a mild form of MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome—a rare bone marrow and blood cancer). After learning the disease was progressing more rapidly than anticipated, he underwent a stem cell transplant in June 2015. After a period of undetectable cancer, Miles suffered a relapse in January 2016. When additional courses of therapy were unsuccessful and no other medical options were viable, Miles and Christopher set out to make precious memories in the 6 to 12 months remaining: recommitting to one another in a ceremony in front of dear friends; leasing a private jet to visit his mother in Nebraska and his daughter and family in Colorado; vacationing in paradise with his granddaughters (and their parents) in Maui, and; exulting in the miracle that was his 65th birthday celebration.

Miles will forever appreciate the generosity of those who helped him throughout his illness, including his loving family and friends, his anonymous stem cell donor, the doctors, nurses, and all other staff at UCSF, and the scores of generous strangers who donated the blood that kept him alive for many more months than he would have otherwise.

A small private memorial for Miles—with carrot cake, of course—is planned for late June. In lieu of flowers, good-karma donations can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (www.lls.org).




Funeral Home
Halsted N. Gray - Carew & English
1123 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA US 94109

Halsted N. Gray-Carew & English Funeral Directors
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