Joan Baker Miller|
Jan. 21, 1921-Mar. 7, 2014
Resident of Orinda
Joan Baker Miller, artist, farmer, and partner to late photographer Wayne F. Miller died Friday, March 7 at her home in Orinda. She was 93.
Born in Urbana, Joan met her husband, Wayne while he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana. She would go to earn her own degree in Soil Science and graduate at the top of her class from the UC, Berkeley in 1975. In the interim, she raised four children, managed the family farming business and created life into an art form that she refined until her death.
She was an avid and talented gardener, potter, tennis player, and reader but her true love was building relationships with family and friends. She was a member of the Walnut Creek Clay Arts Guild and played tennis as a member of the Claremont Tennis Club for 30 years, retiring only in 2009 at age 88. She remained close with her fellow tennis players, many through the ends of their lives, and was an active member of her book club.
At home, she gardened, and took an interest in fresh greens long before they were in vogue. On the larger scale, she managed her family's farm in Illinois until the broader region turned residential at which point she moved her farming interests closer to home, growing grapes in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and redwoods and fir trees in Mendocino County.
She is predeceased by Wayne, who died in May. She is survived by her four children, Jeanette Miller, David Miller, Dana Blencowe, and Peter Miller; her nine grandchildren, Jennifer Miller, Inga Miller Gilbert, Christopher Blencowe, Anna Schwartz, Kersti Peter, Megan Blencowe, Paula Schwartz, Julia Miller, and Matthew Miller; and by two great-grandchildren, Svea Joan Peter and Tenley Rose Blencowe. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on April 5. For information, please call: 925-254-3984.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Mar. 23, 2014