Barbara Jean Miller passed away peace fully in her hometown of Newberg,
Oregon on February 16, 2013, at the age of 84.
Born Barbara Jean Newlin in 1928 to Florence and Kenneth Newlin, Barb grew
up as an only child in Newberg, along with her lifelong friend, Grace Backstrom
(Ferguson). Her 1946 high school graduation was soon followed by her 1947
marriage to Edgar R. Miller, her husband of nearly 60 years.
Barb saw Ed through his college graduation from Linfield and then onto
the mini-metropolis of Yamhill, Oregon where the Millers (four
now) resided from 1953 to 1959, a time that planted the seeds for
many enduring friendships. Ed taught school, coached and administered
the newly consolidated Yamhill-Carlton (YC) High School.
Barb did everything else, including rearing the ever-growing number
of children and raising chicks in the attic and garage.
In our state’s centennial year, the Millers (now six) returned to
Newberg where Ed continued his career in education with Barbara
at his side caring for the family that was now approaching its final
size of seven. Yet Barb still found the time and energy to assist
with the family’s finances by working part time in Portland at
Charles F. Berg followed by a stint in the layout department of
The Newberg Graphic.
1970 found Barb and family embarking on a new adventure with
their move to Milton-Freewater, Oregon. Now with five children,
one dog, one cat and a few fleas, the Millers spent nearly six years
enjoying the wonderfully dusty days of eastern Oregon and, again,
adding friends and family along the way.
By 1976, new challenges for Barb and Ed took them back to the
Willamette Valley, to Canby, where Ed completed his career, retiring
in 1986. But the lure of exotic locales soon beckoned the couple,
taking them to the likes of Crow, Boring, Prineville and Camas
Valley (twice) where Ed acted as an interim school superintendent
and Barb honed her crossword skills and mastered the memorization
of all Oregon counties, all states alphabetically and the alphabet
backwards. You try it.
Barb and Ed eventually returned to Canby, calling Hope Village
home until Ed’s passing in 2007. Barb remained there until recently
moving back to Newberg. Barb, with a little help from Ed,
reared five fairly adequate but prolific children who survive them:
Robert A. (Robb) Miller of Creswell, Julie A. Harper of Newberg, David K. (Dave) Miller of
Portland, Susan J. (Sue) Wright of Milton-Freewater, and Kathleen
L. (Kathie) Carey of Newberg. They added 14 grandchildren to the
mix along with 15 great-grandchildren, so far.
Barbara’s life was her family. Never a dull moment and never a
dreaded day. Her bright smile and loving nature will be missed by
all that knew her.
Please join Barb’s family and friends at Zoar Lutheran Church,
190 SW Third Ave., Canby, Oregon, this coming Saturday, February
23, 2013, at 1:00 pm to remember and enjoy Barb’s life and
If you would like to contribute something in her memory, please
turn to your families and give them a hug and your love. That’s
what Mom would have wanted.