Carol B. Miller
LOWVILLE, N.Y. — Carol Banner Miller, 94, beloved wife of the late Dr. John S. Miller, died peacefully at home on March 8, 2023. A dearly loved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, cousin and friend, Carol died in the company of her family.
Carol was born February 24, 1929 in Oneonta, NY to Lester and Lura R. Banner. She grew up on Union Street and soon developed a love of education attending the Bugbee School. After graduating from Oneonta High School in 1946, she attended SUNY Oneonta, graduating in 1950 with a teaching degree in Elementary Education. She began her teaching experience in Scotia, NY and, after marrying John in the summer of 1951, later spent a year teaching in Boston’s Chinatown while John completed his dental degree at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. After that, Carol and John were off to North Carolina, as John became an officer in the U.S. Navy and was attached to the U.S. Marine Corps as a dental officer, and they were stationed at Camp LeJeune and Cherry Point. Upon John’s end of service, they relocated to Lowville where John went into dental practice with his brother, the late Dr. Edgar M. Miller.
Carol and John began a family, bought the old Hough House on Collins Street, and made it their family home for life.
Raising her children became a full-time passion, and Carol would go on to attend most every event in which any of her kids participated. A practice she would later repeat with each of her grandchildren. And yet, she always found ways to express her love for teaching and interacting with children. Carol taught Sunday School at Trinity Episcopal Church and was a Brownie leader. In later years, she volunteered at the Lewis County General Hospital and oversaw the Gift Shop at Constable Hall. But her priority was her family and their friends.
Her house was open to all, and Carol and John often found their home and yard filled with neighborhood kids and cousins. During maple syrup season, one of the biggest enticements was the backyard sugar shanty. John loved to boil after work and on weekends, and with the first puff of steam from the evaporator, Carol would quickly find a crowd of Nortz, Miller, Merrell and Lormore children awaiting the first draw off. She would not only make sure everyone got a fresh taste, but would make maple sugar candies in the shape of animals, automobiles and trains and provide them to homes in the neighborhood.
Intent on making sure her children’s birthday parties were always welcoming and fun, Carol was an expert at creating memorable celebrations. From fishing inside in December to fabulous cookouts and games in May to exciting scavenger hunts and costume parties just after Halloween on November 1st. And she made sure these parties continued with all three of her beloved grandchildren. Carol was very creative and her house was filled with construction paper, crayons, markers and a sundry of art supplies. It was always a race to her desk to begin a project when her grandchildren came to visit.
In addition to visual arts, Carol loved playing the piano and the organ, and she played beautifully. She would play songs and sing with her children every chance she had. She also would often play for John in the evening. But playing with and for her grandchildren was a highlight for her. The arrival of her great grandson Connor filled her heart with music once again.
Carol also loved summering with her family at Crystal Lake, where her children, her extended Miller, Merrell and Banner families and their many friends would learn to swim, hike, boat, fish, play games, explore nature and generally appreciate the Adirondack camp lifestyle, all under Carol’s watchful and guiding eye. She would later do it all over again with her beloved grandchildren. And after years of always a full house, she came to enjoy the simple and peaceful serenity of the off-seasons at the lake, just her and John.
Surviving Carol are her three children, Jonathan W. Miller, Lowville, Melinda W. Miller, Colton, and Ellen P. Miller (Richard Reed), Lowville, her three grandchildren and constant source of so much happiness, Jacob M. Widrick, Saranac Lake, Eliada M. Widrick (Amber), Delray Beach, and Hannah M. Widrick, Colton, and her latest bundle of joy and only great grandchild, Connor C. Widrick. Also surviving her are nieces Nancy Banner, Susan Banner Greer, Lucinda Miller, Elizabeth Perry, and Margaret Tiernan and nephew Christopher Miller, as well as a large number of Miller and Merrell cousins and in-laws. She was predeceased by her husband, Dr. John S. Miller, and her brother and sister-in-law, L. William and Shirley A. Banner.
Carol’s family would like to offer their thanks for the kindness and compassion shown Carol by her doctor, Steven Lyndaker, Lewis County Hospice (particularly Sheri, Deylynne, Rachael, Megan, Tammy and Darlene), and remarkable caregivers Charlotte, Hollee, Gloria, Brenda, and Lisa. They would also like to offer their truly heartfelt thanks to Gerald Zehr for all he has meant to and done for Carol, John and their family over the years.
At Carol’s request, there will be no calling hours and burial will be later this year at the Lowville Rural Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in the name of Carol B. Miller to Lewis County Hospice, the Constable Hall Association or the Lewis County Historical Society.
Condolences may be made online at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com.
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