1932 – 2012
Thelma Rae Miller was born on April 12, 1932 to Edgar and Hulda Driver. She was the last of seven children.
In 1939, the family moved to California to be near to their only son Bill, who was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Thelma attended second through fourth grades in California. After Bill was killed on the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the family returned to Oklahoma.
Thelma enjoyed her school years in Oklahoma. She lived at home with her mom and dad and her sister Jimmie, who was just five years older. After high school graduation, Thelma was not able to find a good job in her little town so she decided to move back to California. She quickly got a job at McMahan’s Furniture store in Glendale where she shared an apartment with three girlfriends.
Thelma met the love of her life, Warren Miller, at a party. They were married on June 5, 1954. The newlyweds lived in a duplex in Glendale until they bought their first home on Kentucky Place in La Crescenta. Daughter Lisa was born in 1957 and Lora in 1960. Shortly after Lora’s birth Thelma was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. That diagnosis began a lifelong struggle for Thelma to stay healthy.
In 1965, the family moved to their current home on El Caminito. Thelma loved to cook and was one of the first to own a microwave. She took classes at Glendale Community College and was soon a master at microwave meals. She continued to enjoy her many friends and was very involved in her church. She loved to sing and belonged to several choirs.
There were many more medical obstacles over the years – polymyalga rumatica, macular degeneration, spinal surgery followed by paralysis, and finally cancer. Through it all, Thelma’s determination to never let her physical ailments define her had never wavered. She enjoyed her life fully, camping with her family, attending Bible study, going to swim classes, throwing dinner parties. She loved to celebrate – any occasion was a reason to decorate – and she decorated every inch of every room in the house. She loved to dress up and always talked Warren into joining her.
Friendship was very important to her and she put great effort into taking care of her family and many, many friends. Greeting cards, encouraging phone calls, delicious meals – everything she did for others brought her joy. Thelma could have easily chosen to mire in the pain and suffering she had to endure, but her choice was to pursue friendship, family, laughter, fun and praise to her heavenly Father for the blessings he had given her.
Thelma is survived by her daughters Lisa (Greg) and Lora; her grandchildren Kenneth, Jeffrey, Kathryn and Christopher; and her sister Jimmie Lou.