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Grace Miriam King MillerJanuary 11, 1917 ~ December 31, 2017 (age 100)
PORTAGE LAKES – Heaven and earth, receive ye a mother. The Grand Dame of Portage Lakes passed on to the azure lakes of heaven on Dec. 31, 2017, at the age of 100, just shy of her 101st birthday. She was born the youngest at home on Sawyer Ave. in Akron on Jan. 11, 1917 to Arthur Raymond King and Maritta Calista Fargo King. Her maternal grandparents were Albert Cassimer Fargo and Jennie Davis Fargo. Her paternal grandparents were Fordyce Alanson King and Mary Ida Kingman King.
Miriam was the berry picker, apple gatherer, fish catcher, and flower gatherer (often dandelions) child of the family where she grew up on Dorwil Dr. in Coventry Twp. She carried her finds in the skirt of her dress to her mother who no doubt found them a blessing for the dinner table during the Depression. Living on E. Reservoir she often swam to the island and the points. At that time there was a footpath around the lakeshore through everyone’s yard.
Miriam was proud to point out that she was the first student to enter the doors of the newly-built Lakeview School on S. Main St., the class having walked up the hill (S. to N.) from the old added-on-to one room schoolhouse. She attended Coventry H. S. with the class of 1935 with her future husband, Leroy Otho Miller (Class of 1933). By the time she was sixteen she had lost both her parents and grandparents, but the neighbor women looked out for her as she continued living in the family home by herself, and for a while raising her sister’s two children. She always wished her mother had lived longer so she could have done things for her as an adult.
As a child she used to set the neighbors’ hair for 25¢. One summer she worked at Burch’s Landing preparing lunch for the people who drove out from Akron. She also worked for a short time at Ryan’s restaurant which was across the street from Turkeyfoot Plaza. Through the years she worked at O’Neil’s, Polsky’s, and Tall Girls. Later she volunteered at Akron General and Barberton Citizens hospitals and the Children’s Home.
Miriam lived when there was no electricity, but there were gas lamps and lanterns; no indoor plumbing, but lots of joy at successfully knocking over an outhouse at Halloween; terrible illnesses but somehow survival; the milkman, iceman, ragman, coal stoves, hand pumps, ice boxes, and clothes lines.
Miriam couldn’t sing, whistle, ride a bike or ice skate, but she could draw, paint, and decorate. Her talent would have been seen in department store windows. And she put her talent to work at Lakeview Church of Christ (now Lakeview Christian) decorating for the holidays. She is the last of the founding members from the early 1920’s.
Always fashion-conscious and dressed to the nines, Miriam let no moss grow beneath her feet. She was a founding member of the Portage Lakes Historical Society and served as president for several years. She was president of the local AARP, a Sunday School teacher, founder and president of the Coventry 50-plus group, and an active member of a local garden club. Miriam was a Portage Lakes historian having conducted research and had articles printed in the Suburbanite during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Miriam is survived by her daughter, Karen Lynn Miller; former son-in-law, Bob Leto; nieces, Pat King Albanese, Kay King Cunard Ramsey, Judi King Fox; nephews, Dick (Marie) Miller of Fla., John Alfred (Judy) King; special adopted son, Inderjeet Singh (Surinder Kripal Mehta) Mehta; special grandchildren, Suchita (Sunil) and Gagandeep (Madhuri); special great-grandchildren, Jastej and Avi; and faithful pet, Pepé, who never left her side. Miriam was also a great-great-great-aunt.
Miriam was predeceased by her husband, Leroy Otho Miller; infant son, Thomas King Miller; siblings, Arthur Franklin King, John Edward King, Anna Marie King Miller Rader Sylvia Colbert, baby Laura King; niece, Cordelia Ann Rader Genovese; nephew, Albert Sylvia.
God Bless You home hospice persons, Mandy, Ola Okonwo, Mike, Chase, Anna; and neighbors, Kathy/Al and Diane/Dave.
Friends may call at Bacher Funeral Home 3326 Manchester Rd. on Fri., Jan. 5th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., where services will begin at 1 p.m., Pastor Darryl Moulder officiating. Interment at Mt. Peace Cemetery.