Patricia Miller

Patricia Marie Miller (Nelson)

Tuesday, November 26th, 1935 - Tuesday, September 10th, 2019
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Patricia Miller — nurse, teacher and tireless hockey mom — died Tuesday. She was 83.

Mrs. Miller’s friends would describe her as devoted and dependable. Her sons would add brave and daring, and they would know — they lived with the Iowan she brought home to Michigan.

John Miller crashed into her life in the full bloom of irascibility. He was handicapped, he had few pennies to count, his ears flapped like spinnakers, and he insisted on one slice of buttered toast at breakfast, not two. He regarded the telephone as a pestilence, and he always thought small talk could best be expressed with silence.

Mrs. Miller chose John Miller because she had imagination. A lot of imagination. She saw possibilities, and together they found happiness, contentment, and all the pleasures and frustrations of the ordinary. Unruly kids, countless ice rinks, problems at work, triumphs at work, poker nights, PTA meetings, fishing follies, and yet another long drive to yet another distant rink. With a stop at Emil’s for a burger on the way home.

Mrs. Miller was the proud daughter of John and Evelyn Nelson. Their home was cramped — four sisters bedded like canned sardines, while brother Jack wondered why there were no useful brothers among all those spirited sisters. A volatile situation, which Mrs. Nelson calmed by baking delicious pies.

Mrs. Miller left that nest for nursing, and she flew. But there was a hitch during her studies. It happened at a picnic. Interns blew in like a storm front, Mrs. Miller met Dr. Miller, they started dating, and then she — in a move that is still scandalous and disgraceful — seduced him. He, instantly over the moon, melted into uncharacteristic agreeableness. After the kiss they married and settled in Port Huron. Where he installed a skeet shooter.

The neighbors were wary, but not one was ever winged. Instead, Dr. and Mrs. Miller worked hard, very hard, to comfort and care for their patients. They also raised the Purple Martin house in spring, laughed with friends on summer nights by the lake, admired the magic of forests in fall, and warmed winter days with family banter. They turned ordinary into grace.

Mrs. Miller’s family: the late John Nelson, the late Evelyn Nelson, the late Dr. John Miller, Greg (Sarah) Miller, Bob Miller, the late Carolyn (the late Dr. John) Youngs, Joanne (the late Gary) Ebert, Sarajane (Bob) Rowling, Jack (Sharon) Nelson, the late Susan Keeling, Riley Youngs, the late Michael Youngs, Marybeth Ferrante, Rob (Lauren) Rowling, Kristina (John) Spegele, John Nelson, Andria Youngs, Jason Ferrante, Evan Ferrante, Sean Youngs, Dustin Youngs, Michelle Youngs, Allyson Rowling, Jack Rowling, Maclaren Brunetti, Jack de Sanz, Will Taylor, John Robert Spegele, and the youngest of the bunch, Evelyn Anne Spegele, age 2 months and named for the indomitable woman at the top of this list.

Mrs. Miller’s family extends its warmest embrace to her larger family — her student nurses at St. Clair County Community College. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You sent her over the moon, and your wonderful work is her legacy.

We also wish to thank her caregivers at Lakeshore Woods, Seasons Hospice and Blue Water Lodge.

The family invites you to visit and share memories on Sunday, September 15, 2019, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Smith Family Funeral Home, Hancock Street.

Please give to charities and please give often.

For information and guestbook,
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, September 15th, 2019 | 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Sunday, September 15th, 2019 10:00am - 12:00pm
    Smith Family Funeral Home - North
    1525 Hancock Street
    Port Huron, Michigan 48060
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Victoria Street

Posted at 12:23am
I always enjoyed her visits to San Diego, we would have long talks and she loved talking about her family!

Joanne H

Posted at 06:53am
My sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Patricia, she will be dearly missed by us all.

Joanne at Kroger

Patrick Fitzgerald

Posted at 10:33am
Pat Miller is the mother of Greg, the one guy who has known me my whole life. She was a woman of extraordinary patience, which we tested regularly. Whether it was messing about in boats, playing shinny on a frozen Lake Huron, or paddling around on ice bergs through frigid open water; Pat watched it all from her front room. She was a great teacher. When something did go badly, she would look at us and say; “You boys better get that fixed up before your father gets home.” Reflecting back, I realize that we did some very poor thinking getting into trouble; but we did some brilliant thinking getting things fixed up before “Doc” Miller got home. Rest in peace Patricia, Lord knows you have earned it. We pray you’re still looking out for us.

Kelley Gebbie

Posted at 03:49pm
I met Pat some years ago as she traveled to San Diego yearly to enjoy our lovely winters staying with her friend Fred Harris. She was always a delight full of stories. She will be sadly missed. My condolences. Kelley J. Gebbie

Mindy Bennert-Duckworth

Posted at 06:02am
We at Dunkin are sorry to hear of Mrs. Pat's passing, We were blessed to have her as a regular guest and friend.

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