April 12, 2022
Dear Friends and Family:
With sadness we inform you of the passing of our wonderful, beautiful mother, Constance Lee Miller. We wanted to write this letter to share memories with those who loved her. Our mom lived life to the fullest and was always up for an adventure. She was an inspiration to all of us and we will miss her so much.
Constance “Connie” was born in Argos, Indiana to Maxine and Lyman Brumit. She was born in the 1930’s, but she would have a fit if we told you the year! Despite her youthful appearance she did not like people knowing her age. She said “people treat you differently if they think you’re old,” and “age is just a number!” Let’s just say she was older than she looked.
Our mom spent much of her youth at her grandparents’ railroad hotel hanging out with the railroad men and her grandma. Her grandma ran the hotel and entertained the guests, and her grandpa ran his tailor shop. She showed us a picture of her grandma smoking a cigar, playing poker with the railroad workers. She says they were very good to her there and she had a lot of fun. Our mom’s older sister, Rosemary had many health problems, and her parents spent much time taking her to doctor appointments and taking care of her. Her father, our grandpa Brumit was a school teacher and then worked for the government. When he married our grandmother it was quite a scandal. She was a student where he was teaching and he was her basketball coach. They were married for over 50 years and we spent a lot of time at their house in Fort Wayne.
Our mom loved to do many things and we spent our childhood on the go! She loved being outside and going to our cabin, but she also loved art, opera, and volunteering. She worked at our school festivals, PTA and Cub Scouts. Our parents became foster parents and we had at least 3 foster children in our chaotic house including a little baby girl named Stacey. She was always taking in animals, and we had a houseful at any given time. We had many cats, our dog Gretchen, hamsters, birds (Sickem and Fetchum) guinea pigs, fish, and more. She was a true animal lover and donated to the local Humane Society faithfully.
Our mom began to work as we got older and spent most of her time doing administrative assistant work, first at Johnson Brass in Saukville, then GE in Arizona and Utah, and finally the Hennepin County Home School in Minneapolis. After retiring from the County our mom worked at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan where she had a special group of friends. She did not retire there until she turned 80 because she was afraid she would miss the extra money! She had many part- time jobs along with her full- time job including working at the Mall of America. This job came along with free Camp Snoopy tickets which her grandkids took full advantage of. She was right there on the rides with them!
As we mentioned earlier our mom loved to try new things and in her 60’s took up trap shooting with the “Clay Bunnies” where she became quite skilled with her 20 gauge Beretta shotgun! In her late 60’s and 70’s she took up kick boxing and would go to the local community center to kick box much to our amazement. She exercised regularly and would walk the entire Mall of America from 1st floor to the 4th when the weather got bad. In Arizona she hiked and road three wheelers in Utah. She was always moving and could not sit still for the life of her!
Our mom loved to go places, the favorite was our cabin in Michigan where the entire family gathered once a year for Miller Mania. This tradition has been going on more than 3 decades , probably closer to 4. We were always happy to get out of Miller Mania with no hospital visits given our family was mostly boys and there was a lot of monkey business as she would say! She spent her days playing brutal badmiton, bean bags, eucre, swimming and rock hunting on the beaches. She loved the driftwood and rocks, and we carried bags of them out of her condo when she moved! Connie and her daughter went to many museums and art shows every year. They went to Santa Fe, the Monet exhibit in Colorado, the Heard museum in Arizona and many, many more. Her son Ryan took her to the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, to the island of Phuket, Thailand and Singapore. Her and Ryan rode in a hot air balloon in Arizona, and on an elephant in Thailand. She loved taking the train to Chicago to see the Opera, but she also loved white water rafting down the Colorado River. She loved to draw, paint and became quite skilled at Macrame in the 1970’s and had booths selling her designs in art shows. She also loved to fish with her dad and then with our dad. She was a huge sports fan and loved the Green Bay Packers. She was able to attend some games and the Title Town Celebration in 1996 with my brother Kent. She played fantasy football that her son Miles set up every year and was very competitive. Mostly, she just wanted to be with family and laugh. She had a wonderful, witty sense of humor and made us all laugh. Her grandkids called her “Grambo” and she spent quality time playing games with them, attending their sports and graduations and buying them gifts.
She will be missed so much by her sons, Miles and his wife Jacquee; Kent and his wife Shelly: Ryan and his special dog Chi Chi that she adored! She will be missed by her only daughter Dana and her husband Dan. Her grandkids and great grandkids, Heath, Blake, Jenny, Tierney, Carter, C.J., Nick and Devin will miss their “grambo”.
Huge thanks to all her friends who made her life so special. Jan and Jack Gilliam, Dottie and Cash Norwaish, Kay, Roz, Lishelle, Wendy, John, Helene, and especially her best friend Susie. I know there are many more of you out there that I have missed.
My mom will finally get to see her mom and dad, sister, nephew David, son baby Roy, and our Dad, Norman, in heaven. We love you mom.
If anyone wants to do something in my mom’s name, please donate to the Benzie County Animal Shelter, 543 S. Michigan Ave., Beulah, MI 49617, or the Shelter of your choice.
The Miller Family