Carol Miller: Teacher, traveler, grandmother

Teacher, traveler, doting grandmother

Claremont resident Carol Ellen Miller died peacefully at her home on November 28, 2015. She was 72.

She was born on March 23, 1943 to Matthew and Mary Grieshaber in Trenton, New Jersey. Carol and her older sister Judie were raised in the San Gabriel Valley. After graduating from Mission High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from San Jose State University followed by a master’s in education from Claremont Graduate School.

She met her husband-to-be Roger Miller in the late ‘60s when he was a finance professor at Cal State LA. They were married in August of 1970 and soon welcomed two sons, Kenneth and Matthew, both of whom were born at Pomona Valley Hospital.

The young family moved to Flagstaff, Arizona where Mrs. Miller earned a second master’s degree in anthropology from Northern Arizona University. While in graduate school there, she taught elementary school on the Hopi Indian reservation.

Mrs. Miller’s life, both personal and professional, was dedicated to helping others. As a teacher at Larkin High School in Elgin, Illinois, she taught students with special educational needs. Always a champion for the underdog, her career at the high school was marked by her exuberant teaching style and her tireless dedication to her students and her department. She also treasured her time as head coach of a conference-winning girls swim team.

After retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Miller moved back to Claremont and have lived here for more than two decades. She spent these years travelling the globe. It seemed that no sooner had she returned from one trip that she was planning the next. Some of her favorite destinations were Peru, Morocco and Nicaragua. One of her few regrets was that she never made it to Burma.

Carol had always dreamed of having a house on the beach. Prices of beachfront property being what they are, she figured out another way to get one. She and Roger bought a piece of property with nothing more than a concrete slab. She designed and built a beachfront oasis in Mulege, Baja California. The “Mexico House” has been a source of tranquility and joy for Carol and her family for years.

Mrs. Miller enjoyed hiking, reading, scuba diving and driving fast, but family was always her greatest love. Her later years have been dedicated to spending time with her grandchildren here in Claremont. She often commented that they were the sunshine of her life; she raised them like they were her own children. 

She was preceded in death by her sister Judie. She is survived by her husband Roger, her sons Kenneth and Matthew and her grandchildren Aria, Damien, Isabel and Gabriel.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, December 6 at 2 p.m. at Monte Vista Unitarian Universalist Congregation, located at 9185 Monte Vista Ave. in Montclair.


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