Betty Miller, age 84, a devoted and loving matriarch, passed away May 11, 2023 surrounded by loved ones. She leaves behind her husband of 65 years; Don “Dee” Miller, daughters Dee Ann McCollum (John), Carol Jean Stillwagon (Dan), son Jeff Miller (Carole), 14 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren.
The second of three children, Betty was born in Jeffersonville, Indiana to Charles and Evelyn Ellwanger. Betty and Dee met at a baseball game when she was 14, as she was cheering for the opposing team. She clapped loudly as he struck out and he kicked dirt her way; they’ve been happily together ever since.
She was the CEO and COO of her household, both while a stay at home mom and while working full-time. She was in charge of everyone’s calendars, getting the kids where they needed to be, cooking, cleaning, shopping, managing family finances, and the overall organization of the family. Once her kids were old enough, they were recruited to help with these duties. She taught them to address Christmas cards, draft the grocery list in a manner conducive to efficient shopping, and write checks to pay the bills.
She always made her kids’ friends feel welcome. Her house, backyard, and pool were the most popular hangout. It was a rare occasion to find only three kids there. While she would scold them to be careful, everyone knew they were welcome to come over and spend the day, and there were always enough hotdogs.
Betty and Dee enjoyed traveling and often extended Dee’s work trips to visit new places across the country. She described Yosemite as the most beautiful place she’s ever been. A family trip out west with her husband and kids, trips to Glacier National Park with the grandkids, and family Thanksgivings in the mountains are the center of many stories decades later.
Family was most important to Betty. She was a good sport, putting up with and laughing at a lifetime of jokes played on her by her husband, kids, and grandkids. She loved taking her grandkids to movies and having them spend the night. Phone calls with family members could easily last an hour. Unlike many grandparents, she was eager to learn to use new technology if it meant keeping in touch with family. She began texting because it was a great way to reach the grandkids. She learned to take and send pictures on an iPhone so she could send photos of bass Dee caught to family in Indiana.
Betty was a sports fan; she spent years court side, behind home plate, or in the bleachers at games and meets cheering for Dee in high school, her kids, or grandkids. She rooted for the colleges her kids and grandkids attended and even learned to stream TV so that she and Dee wouldn’t miss a Tampa Bay Rays game.
She will be sorely missed. But her family takes comfort in a lifetime of memories and knowing that she has gone to be with the Lord.
Visitation at Forest Lawn Funeral Home, 5740 S. Pine Ave., Ocala, FL will be Tuesday, May 16 from 10am-12pm followed by a service in the chapel.