Phyllis Ann (Boyce) Miller (1921 - 2013)

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  • "What an inspiration to other women. She was so far ahead of..."
    - Lois Choksy
  • "I will always remember Phyllis Ann Miller. My thoughts are..."
    - Paul Voeller
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Phyllis Ann Miller (Boyce)
June 29, 1921 - January 24, 2013
Phyllis Ann Miller, 91, of Quincy, Illinois, and formerly Pocatello, Idaho, died peacefully on January 24, 2013, after a short illness following a stroke. Her family was with her. She was born on June 29, 1921, in Warren, Ohio, the only child of Magdalen Meyers and Robert Frederick Boyce. After graduating in 1939 from Warren G. Harding High School in Warren, Ohio, Phyllis Ann moved to Cleveland, Ohio and became a Registered Nurse and received a certificate in Public Health Nursing from Case-Western Reserve University. On April 22, 1944, she married Dr. David Carollo Miller in Cleveland, Ohio. Phyllis Ann was employed in hospital and private duty nursing, first as a Visiting Nurse at the Visiting Nurse Association in Cleveland, Ohio, and then as an Instructor in science and nursing history at Youngstown Hospital Association in Youngstown, Ohio. She lived most of her life in Pocatello. She and her husband raised five children and established a medical practice where she served as manager and substitute nurse.
Phyllis Ann made considerable contributions to the community and state when she moved to Pocatello in 1950. She was local and state President of the Idaho Medical Auxiliary. She was on the national nominating committee of the Girl Scouts of USA for six years, and a financial chairman of the Silver Sage Regional Committee. She was a Troop Leader in Pocatello and increased participation of a more racially diverse group of students. She took the Troop to visit the State Legislature and helped the girls earn a Troop badge in Judo.
Phyllis Ann was described as an "inspiration to women," serving over 30 years on the Status of Women Commission of Idaho (Idaho Women's Commission) through appointment by Governor Smylie and then reappointment by Governors Andrus and Batt. Her contributions to the Idaho Women's Commission was extensive. She was named a Charter Member and Chair in 1965 and served again as Commission Chair in 1976-1982. She served as Chair of the Task Force on Family Law, which published the booklet, "Women and Laws in Idaho." She spearheaded the project to assure that Idaho courts would observe guidelines and give women a fair share in the division of community property. She contributed to the Commission publication, "Making Financial Decisions When Divorce Occurs: An Idaho Guide." She worked tirelessly for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
In 1978, Phyllis Ann was the first woman to serve on the Pocatello Regional Medical Center Board and was the Board Chairman from 1991-93. She was appointed to the Idaho Hospital Association Board as one of two Idaho hospital trustees. She was a PBS reporter for the series 'Health Care for Seniors" in 1988-89 and was a member of the Graduate Medical Education Committee for the Rural Residency Program at Idaho State University in the mid-1990's. She was president of Pocatello's Zonta International organization for the advancement of the status of women from 1996-97.
She received multiple awards for her work including: ISU "Woman of Achievement," the City and Regional Soroptimist 'Women Helping Women Award,' 'Zontian of the Year,' honorary member of Idaho State Medical Auxiliary in 1990, Idaho Hospital Association's 'Star Garnet Award' in 1995, the Rotary International Southern Idaho Region's 'Jean Harris Award' in 1998-99 "in recognition of outstanding service to the development and progress of women in society," and the first Idaho Women's Commission 'Edith Miller Klein Award' in 2000.
She loved music, travel, and raising her family with a strong belief in education. When her five children were young, she, her husband, and mother took them on a cross-country train trip from Pocatello to Washington D.C. to see the Smithsonian and Capitol sights. Another year they went to NY City and Williamsburg. Later she traveled to Italy many times. One of her most meaningful trips was as a participant in an Idaho Governor delegation visit to South America as an advocate for women's issues and medical care.
She loved Idaho, delighted in nature and went camping and horseback riding with her outdoorsy husband and family. They spent many enjoyable summer weekends boating on Jackson Lake under the Tetons and later at their family cabin in Island Park, Idaho. She always took a lot of pleasure in seeing and identifying birds. Phyllis Ann was a great cook and enjoyed socializing with friends. She spent her later years in Illinois living near her daughter, Coletta, and son, Robert.
Phyllis Ann was preceded in death by her husband, David, on March 6, 1993 in Pocatello. She is survived by five children: Joanne Salz (Philip Salz), Robert Steven Miller, Dr. Coletta Margaret Miller (Alan Knepler), Louise Miller (Gary Zodrow), and Amy Miller Dowell (Dan Dowell); three grandchildren: Georgianna Kleman (John Kleman), Alex Salz (JP Halier Salz), and Victoria Zodrow; and a newly born great-granddaughter: Sonia Elise Kleman. She was also preceded in death by son-in-law Dr. Gary Bunger (Coletta) and her son's partner, Angel Higareda (Robert).
A memorial service will take place at 11:30 am on July 16, 2013, at Holy Spirit Catholic Community, 524 North 7th Avenue, Pocatello, followed by a reception with luncheon refreshments at the church. Remembrances may be made in her name to Zonta Club of Pocatello Service Foundation, P.O. Box 4174, Pocatello, ID. 83205.

Published in Idaho State Journal on May 23, 2013
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