Wilma “Willie” Miller
Wilma “Willie” Jessie Brown Miller, 89, died of natural causes May 1, 2018 at a Bangor hospital. She was born July 5, 1928, in Miami, Florida, the only child of Irene (Millard) and Fred Brown. Willie was raised in Mexico, Indiana, Maine, and Massachusetts. Willie graduated from high school in Arlington, Massachusetts in 1944 at age 16. She matriculated at the University of Maine where she met Warren “Whitey” Miller, a handsome World War II vet. They were married on July 19, 1947. Whitey and Willie lived in Stockton Springs, ME, Newcastle, DE, and Waterville, ME before moving to Orono and raising their family there and on Holbrook Pond in Holden.
Willie was the mother of six children and unofficially adopted her children’s many friends. She was the lakeshore matriarch during golden summer days at Holbrook Pond. She had a soft spot for injured animals and nurtured numerous family pets. Willie baked often for family and friends; her Christmas pinwheel cookies are a special family tradition. She knit countless woolen mittens for children and grandchildren and sewed for her daughters during their school years. She never missed an athletic event involving one of her kids and later followed her grandchildren’s events. While living in Orono, Willie joined a bridge club, bowling league, and mending group, and continued to enjoy them long after moving full-time to Holbrook Pond.
Willie made her first pack trip in to Duck Lake as a young girl with her parents. She loved the remote camp above all other places and passed that connection on to her children. She enjoyed snowmobiling and riding the ATV. Whitey and Willie had many happy memories of time spent in the Maine outdoors with their family and their life-long friends, the Nichols, Calkins, Garvins, Bartleys, Spaldings, and Whites.
In addition to her parents, Willie was predeceased by her husband, Warren E. “Whitey” Miller, a daughter, Donna Miller Cavallo, and a grandson, Matthew Burnes. She is survived by daughter, Irene Staples, and her husband, Dennis, of Orrington; son, Fred Miller, and his wife, Nancy, of Yarmouth; daughter, Laurie Miller, of Holden; daughter, Andi Phelan, and her husband, Peter, of Dedham; son, Eddie Miller, and his wife, Anne, of Pittsfield; and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Relatives and friends are welcome to share in a time of remembrance on June 1, 2018 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor. Those who wish to remember Willie in a special way may make gifts in her memory to the Bangor Humane Society, 693 Mt. Hope Ave., Bangor, ME. 04401.
Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com.