Julia Morrill Miller

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Julia Morrill Miller, a longtime Evergreen resident, died Aug. 9, 2018, in Towson, Md. She was 90 years of age and had recently moved to Maryland to spend time near her daughter Christine.
She lived her life with verve and a joyful spirit, following her geologist husband, Leo, around the world on his many exploration projects.
They met while undergraduates at the University of Southern California (USC), where she impressed him with her willingness to go downhill skiing in the Sierras before she had mastered so much as a snowplow turn. The result was a straight schuss down the first ski run, and to her credit, she did not fall until she reached the creek at the base of the mountain. Eventually, that determination landed her on the downhill racing team at the University of California Los Angeles, where she studied sociology and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1950.
She and her husband raised three children as they moved to different states and countries, including Canada and Australia. Much of their traveling was via a single-engine plane piloted by her husband, once journeying with the children from Perth in Western Australia, to Hokkaido, Japan, and back, crossing hundreds of miles of open ocean and occasionally depending on favorable winds to reach the next destination. As their son Stephen recalls, because of a detour, they were forced to make it to the remote island of Miyako, and by the time they arrived at the intended airfield at Luzon in the Philippines, the plane ran out of gas on the taxiway.
Finally settling down to a somewhat more routine life with her husband in beautiful Evergreen, Julie focused much of her energy on raising their youngest child, Catherine, who spent an idyllic childhood in Elk Ridge estates, riding her horse Henry across meadows filled with irises and goldenrod.
With Catherine, she shared her love of tennis, on both Evergreen courts and many days per week on courts of the Rolling Hills club near Applewood. Despite living in a relatively unpopulated location, she loved people and made every effort to spend time with friends. Along with dear neighbors in Evergreen, some of her closest friendships were with fellow tennis players and coaches at the Rolling Hills club.
Throughout this time, she maintained her skill as an accomplished watercolor and pastel artist, generating landscapes, still lifes and portraits that grace the walls of her children's homes. Her latest series of landscapes were from a trailer camp her husband set up near Silver Peak, Nev., where she chronicled the changes of the seasons and the many beautiful sunsets illuminating the desert terrain. Her last framed still life was of Cabaret roses composed when she was 86 years of age.
Nearing the end of her days, it was her musical talent that endured, allowing her to hum along in key with her grandson as he played classical guitar.
In addition to her daughter, Christine Miller, of Towson, Md., her son, Stephen Miller, of Sevier, Utah, and her daughter, Catherine Batten, of Los Gatos, Calif., she is survived by five grandchildren (Sarah, Seth, Joseph, Haley and Nash) and two great-grandchildren (Luke and Sammy). Her husband, the love of her life, died in 2001.
A private memorial service will be held for family members on Upper Bear Creek on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.
Published in Canyon Courier on Sept. 19, 2018
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