Linda Bartlett Miller
Linda Pulitzer Bartlett was born in Baltimore on September 5, 1950 to the late David Bartlett and the late Gladys Pulitzer Preston. Her mother moved to Palm Beach and Linda attended Palm Beach Day Academy before moving to Mt. Kisco, NY when her mother married Lewis T. Preston, later chairman of J. P. Morgan and the chairman of the World Bank.
A graduate of Foxcroft School in Virginia and Finch College in New York City, Linda worked briefly in retail in New York. In 1973, she came to Palm Beach to visit her aunt Lily Pulitzer Rousseau and took a job as a waitress with her cousins Liza and Minnie Pulitzer at Leverett Miller's Peter Dinkel's Restaurant, which had just opened on Royal Poinciana Way. A world-class skier, who at 16 had been asked to try out for the U. S. Olympic team, she was trying to make enough money to join her parents in Zermatt for a skiing vacation. She did go to Zermatt, but retuned to eventually run the restaurant. Thus began a romance with Lev Miler that lasted for 48 years.
They married in 1976 at her parents' home in Mt. Kisco, NY and returned to Palm Beach to live until 1981, when they bought farmland in Fairfield, FL near Ocala and created a leading Florida Thoroughbred farm called T-Square Stud. Their two children Whitney Munn Miller and Penelope Pulitzer Miller, born in Palm Beach, were raised on the farm along with frequent visitor Maria-Flora Miller, Lev's daughter from a previous marriage. They all pitched in to run an extensive racehorse breeding and breaking operation for 25 years that produced such top racehorses as Wagon Limit, House Party, and Classic Point. Initially, Linda was afraid of horses but found that when the mares gave birth, they were lying down and she was standing up. She gained such confidence and knowledge that she helped birth up to 60 mares a year on the farm.
At the urging of Richard Hancock, executive director of the Florida Breeders and Owners Association, Linda headed up the first Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation horse rescue at a Florida prison from scratch: she supervised the building of a barn and extensive fencing on prison land. Much of the materials were donated by Tartan Farms, which Linda had solicited from her friend Jim Binger, the owner. This Florida branch of the TRF became a model for many others and immediately proved a great success. The prisoners earned a certificate for being educated in horse care, and many went on to get jobs in the equine industry and did not return to a life of crime or addiction. The program she started in Florida has now been expanded to include divisions at the women's and juvenile facilities.
In 2006, when Lev turned 75, they decided to go back to Palm Beach and sell the farm. They bought a house in midtown; and Linda, the athlete, started playing her good tennis again with her friends at the Bath & Tennis Club and the Everglades Club. Having had a court on the farm, family tennis was a tradition and Whitney and Penelope were both on the varsity teams at Deerfield Academy. Linda was especially proud of this, and during tennis and squash tournaments she made trips to the school bringing fresh Florida strawberries to support the teams.
Another great Palm Beach passion was the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, where Linda sat on the board and spearheaded a campaign that focused on recognizing and thanking small donors to the organization.
Linda and Lev also loved to travel and shoot game birds. She was an excellent shot and enjoyed safaris in Kenya, Botswana, and South Africa with their friends, only shooting birds that were for food. Many other trips included quail hunting in Georgia, Florida, and Texas; horse racing in France and England; as well as annual sojourns to Saratoga Springs for the races. From there, a camp in the Adirondacks also became a yearly vacation with Linda becoming a skilled fly fisherman. She practiced this skill also with trips to Cody, Wyoming and neighboring Montana in conjunction with Lev and Linda's dedication to the Whitney Western Art Museum in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Linda cooked with amazing skill for a family that was the most important entity to her. She loved her dogs, her horses (all named starting with So) and her grandson Royal Douglass so very much. She entertained superbly and always had a great sense of humor and the ridiculous. Above all, she had a wonderful sense of what was fair and just.
Linda B. Miller died on March 7, 2021 after a brief but valiant battle against aggressive Stage Four cancer. She spent her final weeks surrounded by her husband Leverett S. Miller, her daughters and stepdaughter, her grandson, and her beloved dogs. Her kindness and generosity of spirit will be missed by all who ever encountered her. She is survived by her daughter Whitney Douglass and her son Royal; daughter Penelope Miller; stepdaughter Maria-Flora Miller and her five children Cully, Riley, Cameron, Ellery, and Quinten Smoller; her sister Victoria Donaldson; and her half-sisters Priscilla Hallowell and Electra Toub. In lieu of flowers, please donate to: Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, 3200 N Military Trail #3100, West Palm Beach, FL 33409 (https://www.peggyadams.org
Published by Palm Beach Daily News from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2021.