Mildred E. Miller, age 83, of Mentor, Ohio, passed away September 28, 2019 at David Simpson Hospice House of pancreatic cancer. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, caregiver, friend and matriarch of her family.
She was born in her grandparents’ home on Mentor Avenue in Mentor during a record-setting cold day on January 20, 1936. She grew up in Mentor, raised her family in Perry and remained there for 56 years before returning to her hometown. She felt blessed to spend her last three years, as she put it, “just a hop, skip and a jump” from her childhood home and neighborhood.
Mildred had a rewarding career operating a daycare business up until her retirement in 2004. She adored children and delighted in loving and nurturing each child entrusted to her care. She derived such pleasure watching her daycare children grow into adults and she took great pride in their accomplishments, just as she did for her own children. Many years earlier, after her youngest child began school, she went to work in the Perry Schools lunch program as a cashier, followed by working at Fairport Harbor Schools as a Special Education teachers’ aide. After that she fulfilled an important role providing compassionate care as a home health aide. While she was passionate about her work, her most gratifying role was being a mother.
She cared deeply and was always willing to put others’ needs before her own. She was extremely creative, enjoyed reading and scrapbooking, and was an artistic floral designer. She loved nature and animals, inherited an emerald green thumb and was content with a little dirt under her nails from working in her flower gardens and with her magnificent houseplants. She was happiest decorating her home for holidays and entertaining family and friends. She was a gifted cook who could turn anything in the pantry or from the garden into a delicious meal. She collected antiques and believed that her greatest collection was old friends. She enjoyed time spent with ladies of the Red Hat Society and the Wildwood Garden Club.
She is survived by her daughters, Elizabeth (Bruce) Bowman of Killingworth, CT, Judith (John) Church of Perry, OH and Susan Miller-Finocchioli of Concord, OH; son, Jonathan (Tracy) of Madison, OH; grandchildren, Meredith (Jonathan) Clark, Erin Bowman, Tina (Mike) Hamadneh, Molly Church, Jonathan and Joseph Finocchioli, and Ashley, Elizabeth and Erin Adkins; great grandchildren Yasmin and Laila Hamadneh and Lauren Drake; brother, Herb Lybarger; sister-in-law, Gaye Shields; cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin C. Miller, her grandson, Benjamin Finocchioli, and her parents, Lucy Delamater and G. Joseph Lybarger.
In her memory, the family suggests contributions to Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village, 15463 Chillicothe Road, Novelty, OH 44072 or Hospice of the Western Reserve, 17876 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland, OH 44110-2602.
Private family services will be held. Interment will be at the Perry Cemetery, Perry, Ohio.