Obituaries: Elwood "Woody" Miller

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday May 10, 2023
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Elwood "Woody" Miller
Elwood "Woody" Miller

1956 — May 4, 2023

Elwood "Woody" Miller, a much-loved longtime Castro resident, prominent nudist activist, friend, lover, and artist, passed away at sunrise on May 4, 2023. He was 67.

His advanced leukemia had been diagnosed less than two months before.

Notoriously familiar to residents and tourists alike as the bearded, kilted waiter at Orphan Andy's Restaurant, and as one of "the naked guys" along the Castro corridor, Woody was a delight to many and a consternation to the inhibited. Viewed so publicly and intimately, he embraced the city fully and exquisitely with his very skin and personified a profound commitment to the promise of San Francisco as a beacon of personal liberty and the naked truth.

Woody pursued his education at City College of San Francisco and at San Francisco State University, where he focused his graduate work on gay and lesbian history. He was an avid collector of antique phonographs and art, and established the Naked Nude Art Show, which drew widespread international media attention.

Woody is survived by his husband, John Wilson, with whom he resided in the Castro since 1988, by longtime boyfriend Denton Smith, and by his sister and other relatives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was born.

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