We lost Juanita on Saturday night around 6 PM (Phoenix time). She was pain-free to the end and totally lucid well into her last week. My last real conversation with her was on Tuesday, & even then she wanted to know what was on my Chicago Film Critics Association "Best of 2006" ballot & how we were handicapping the Oscars. Of course she hadn't seen all of this year's candidates, but she greatly enjoyed
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE &
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, & she was as disappointed with
THE GOOD GERMAN as we were.
The last film the three of us watched together was
THE GLENN MILLER
STORY. That was in Phoenix on 12/10. While she wasn’t up to dancing herself, she certainly enjoyed watching us (primitive tho our jitterbugging may have been!), & we all had a genuinely good time together that afternoon. She was part of FILMS FOR TWO from the very beginning, & she will always be a valued member of the FF2 team.
More than anything, I am so glad she was able to see her son looking so trim & healthy this year, & that she (& Marvin) were here with me in Chicago when Richard had his bariatric surgery in April, 2005.
Juanita will not be here to celebrate the New Year with us in person, but she will always be with us in our hearts.
Jan (& Rich)
December 26, 2006
Juanita Richards Miller died December 23, 2006 of ovarian cancer in Phoenix, Arizona. Born February 6, 1925 to Isabel and Austin Richards, she grew up in Springfield, Ohio. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1947, the same year that she was co-chair of Northwestern’s “Waa-Mu” musical review. In August of that same year, she married William Bayard Miller of South Jacksonville, Illinois. She taught at Evanston Township High School while Mr. Miller completed his PhD at Northwestern. From 1951 to 1979, Mr. Miller was a U.S. Foreign Service officer. The family was stationed in Pakistan, Germany, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Brazil, and also served several tours in Washington, D.C.
After 1979, Mrs. Miller was involved in extensive volunteer work in Alexandria, Virginia. In particular, she was the Curator and then Director of the Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home. In 1992, Mr. and Mrs. Miller retired to Winter Park, Florida, where Mrs. Miller continued her volunteer efforts for the Cornell and Morse museums. Mr. Miller died in 1996. In the last two years, Mrs. Miller developed a special friendship with Marvin Allison, whom she had first known when they were in junior high school together in Springfield. Mr. Allison died in May, 2006.
Mrs. Miller is survived by her son Richard Bayard Miller, her daughter Kathryn Gepner, her daughter-in-law Jan Lisa Huttner, and her son-in-law Gary Gepner. A memorial service will be held in Springfield in the spring.
Remembrances in lieu of flowers should be sent to:
Hospice of the Valley
1510 East Flower Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85014
Click here to View/Sign Guest Book on the Orlando Sentinel website.