Elizabeth "Betty" L. Miller, 86, of Owatonna, passed away peacefully during the early morning hours of Friday, Aug. 1, at the Homestead Hospice House after a long struggle with cancer. Betty was born Nov. 26, 1927, in Rochester, daughter to Clara C. McKeown (Fakler) and J. William McKeown. Betty grew up on the McKeown family farm in Pilot Mound Township, east of Chatfield and attended country schools in rural Fillmore County through eighth grade. She graduated from Chatfield High School in 1945 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 1949 from the College of Saint Teresa in Winona. Betty also completed post-graduate college course work at both the University of Minnesota and at Colorado State College (now the University of Northern Colorado), in Greeley, Colo.
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After her education, Betty served as a high school teacher in math, science, English and physical education in several southern Minnesota communities including Eagle Bend (1949-1950), Medford (1950-1957) and Owatonna at Marian High School (1961-1962). She was also a substitute teacher at Medford and Owatonna High Schools for several years and concluded her education career as a coordinator for the St. Mary's Religious Education Program in Owatonna from 1976-1990.
During her time as a teacher in Medford, she met Hugh Miller, and they were married at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chatfield on June 19, 1954. Hugh and Betty lived almost all of their married life (since the mid-1950s) in Owatonna and celebrated their 50-year wedding anniversary on June 19, 2004.
Betty was involved in numerous community and church activities. While growing up, she was involved with 4-H club and was involved with ladies golf league at Brooktree Golf Course from 1964-1975. She was a longtime member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Owatonna, where she served as a Eucharistic Minister, lector and announcer and was also a member of Women's Council, the Catholic Order of Foresters and Catholic Daughters. Betty also had many passionate hobbies: She was an avid gardener, golfer and walker, and also enjoyed, sewing, crocheting, many arts and crafts, and was a spectacular baker and cook. Her family and home were always the top priorities in her life.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Hugh; both her parents; her younger sister, Joanne; her brother, Tom; and her sister-in-law, Clara. She is survived by her son, Dan, currently living in Duluth; and numerous other cousins.
Visitation will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Jim Berning officiating. A rosary will be recited at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday. Interment will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Owatonna.
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Aug. 2, 2014