At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Intelligent, determined, and hardworking, Patricia Ann Miller lived a life rich in faith and family. A woman who knew her mind and was willing to stand for what she believed, Patricia inspired all who were blessed to know her. Regardless of life’s challenges, she met each person as a friend. Patricia led with her heart and encouraged others to learn and grow to their full potential. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, Patricia will long be remembered and ever so missed.
Born on December 22, 1931 and growing up just north of Providence, Patricia, or Pat as she was usually called, enjoyed the good company of her younger brother, Allan, and a childhood centered on family values and faith. While her father worked as a textile chemist, her mother was a buyer for a large department store in New York. Pat was an avid reader, who enjoyed going to the shore on clam digs with her brother. Family attended Saint Xavier Catholic Church, and Pat was a student at Saint Xavier Catholic School.
An excellent student, after graduating from high school, Pat earned an academic scholarship that allowed her to study at Brown University. With signature commitment and hard work, she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work.
While at Brown, Pat also had the fortune of meeting Lawrence Newland. The couple married and settled in the Midwest, welcoming two daughters. Her daughters, Kathy and Beth, were the centers of her world, and Pat worked hard to ensure them a loving and supportive home. Though her marriage to Lawrence ended in divorce, it granted her the greatest of gifts, her daughters.
Pat spent several years at Dowagiac and Sister Lakes Elementary, teaching mostly kindergarten or second grade. Pat loved the young children and providing them a safe and loving space to learn and grow. She learned to play the piano well enough to delight her students with song. She especially enjoyed listening to Irish Music; the Irish Showband was her favorite.
After marrying Lee “Ed” Miller in 1968, the family moved to Valparaiso, Indiana, where Ed was the police chief. In time, Patricia returned to school and earned her Masters in Education from Purdue University. Pat taught at Valparaiso until she retired in 1994.
Following retirement, Pat and Ed moved back to Sister Lakes. For many years, they enjoyed taking pontoon rides, sitting on the sundeck, spending time with their grandchildren, and sharing time with their neighbors. Pat also found much delight in reading mysteries and in tending to her flower garden. Long drives to go out to eat were also a treat. Though she had long been a very healthy eater, in her later years her favorite indulgences were French fries, coffee, and chardonnay.
Pat was naturally social and loved gathering with those she loved. She was very proud of her Irish heritage, and celebrating holidays with all of her family, surrounded by her abundant Christmas décor especially pleased her. A devout Notre Dame football fan, she loved tailgates, attending games, and cheering on the Fighting Irish! She and Ed were snowbirds for many years, escaping Midwest winters in Sun City Center, Florida. There, Ed spent hours on the golf course while Pat started making jewelry. She learned to polish stones and created beautiful trees out of wire.
Though Pat was profoundly lonely after Ed died in 2014, she always found the determination and will to continue to be in control and navigate life her way. With signature good heartedness, she was adored by her caregivers and often an inspiration to other women.
While it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Pat’s steadfast presence, may we find comfort in our many treasured memories. May we also find comfort in knowing she has been reunited with her beloved and that her legacy lives on in our lives. With each Irish tune we sing, book we enjoy, holiday we celebrate, and cruise around the lake we take, we celebrate the many ways Pat gifted us. In so doing, we keep her bright and beautiful spirit alive and inspiring others as she so inspired us.
Patricia Ann Miller, died November 2, 2020 in Otsego, MI. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ed, and her brother, Allan. Proudly carrying her legacy forward are her daughters, Kathy Newland (Carmel Dover) and Beth (Kevin) Conway; Ed’s children Lisa Miller and Jeff (Tracy) Miller; her grandchildren, Patrick Conway, Megan Conway, and Brendan Conway; and Ed’s grandchildren, Kyle Miller, Abby Miller, and Jeremy Miller. Cremation took place. A private Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart of Mary Church in Dowagiac with burial at Sacred Heart Cemetery. Please visit Pat’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can read her life story, archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to Sacred Heart of Mary Church, Dowagiac, Michigan. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.