MARIE M. MILLER, 105
LAKELAND - Marie M. Miller, 105, died at her home in Lakeland, FL on Monday, February 11, 2013, due to natural causes.
She was born in Battle Creek, NE on June 11, 1907 and was the daughter of Otto Herman and Mary Christina Haman Maas.
Her aviation career began in 1927 when Curtiss Flying Service hired her to work at the old Curtiss Field, Mineola Island, NY. This is where she took flying lessons. It is also where she became friends with Charles Lindberg and had a helicopter ride with Amelia Earhart.
In 1929 she and her first husband moved to Raleigh to operate the city's only airfield, Raleigh Municipal Airport. In 1931 when Eastern Air Transport (later Eastern Airlines) began passenger and mail service, Mrs. Miller was named station agent, a first for a female.
After the death of her first husband in January of 1939, she managed the airport alone until she hired Truman W. Miller, at that time an engineer for the Civil Aeronautics Administration. He was to take over as manager and president of her company, Serv-Air. She became secretary and treasurer. They married on Oct. 4, 1940. When Mr. Miller became manager of Raleigh-Durham Airport, Mrs. Miller managed the Raleigh Municipal Airport on her own.
The Millers trained pilots under government contract with the Air Force at Stallings Field in Kinston, NC; Bartow, FL; Enid, OK; Houston, TX; Edwards Air Force Base, CA; and Lakehurst Navy Air Station, NJ. They retired to Lakeland in 1974.
From 1940 to 1946, Mrs. Miller wrote a Sunday column for the News and Observer in Raleigh, NC titled "Wing Tips", which related activities and personalities of the state's early aviation years.
Among Mrs. Miller's cherished honors was the induction into the OX-5 Aviation Pioneers Hall of Fame in 1990. She also was a member of Lakeland's Sun and Fun Aviation organization.
Marie was predeceased by her husband, Truman Miller in 2004 and by her son, Truman W. Miller, II in May 2012.
Her survivors include two daughters; Patricia "Patsy" M. Moore of Greenville, NC, Carolyn M. (Lee) Oglesby of Lakeland, FL; daughter in law, Kathleen Miller of Annapolis, MD; four grandchildren, Charles Moore, II of Greenville, NC, Dr. Jeffrey M. Moore of Arlington, VA, Jason Oglesby of Davenport, FL and Caroline O. (Josh) Bevington of Cape Coral, FL; three great grandchildren.
The family expresses gratitude to her loving and dedicated caregivers: Rosemary Atwell, Mary Hillerich and Pam Reynolds.
Visitation will be Saturday, February 16th, 10:00 - 11:00 am at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland. Funeral services will begin at 11:00 am with Pastor David McIntyre officiating. Interment will follow at Oak Hill Burial Park.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, a remembrance may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 115 S. Missouri Ave, STE 500, Lakeland, FL 33815; First Methodist Church, 72 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland, FL 33801; or the
Arrangements by Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home, Southside Chapel.