Mary, our fun loving, talkative, compassionate mother is making friends, caring for others and greeting folks in the Celestial Heavens!
On Tuesday, June 9, 2020, Mary Margaret Miller, loving wife and mother of six, passed away at the age of 89 years. Mary’s death was due to Covid-19.
Mary was born October 13, 1930 to August F. Delaloye, Sr. and Gladys Ruth Moore Delaloye, in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. She was their fourth child and first daughter. Mary was born minutes after her twin brother, Joseph. Her birth surprised her parents, who had been expecting only one. August reportedly remarked “Gladys, you always over do things!” The twins were small but healthy and went home after two weeks in the hospital.
Mary’s early childhood was filled with typical experiences of the 1930’s. During the depression years, her father was out of work and the family moved several times. Most notably they spent time in Rolla, Missouri, living with uncles who had a farm there. The farm would be a place the family would visit many times over the years. In 1938, Mary’s family made its way back to Ft. Smith.
Mary’s young life centered on brothers and sisters (seven children now in the family), Catholic school/life and friends. She fondly remembered attending St. Boniface School and then St. Scholastica. Mary did well in school. She received good grades and not much wrath from the Sisters! Mary played with friends, took piano lessons, baby sat and had slumber parties.
In 1948, Mary entered nurses training at St. Edward’s Hospital. She lived, worked and went to school there. Students worked an 11:00 pm-7:00 am shift over and above classes. She enjoyed her time at St. Edwards, met many nice people and learned a lot. Mary graduated, passed the exam and became an RN in 1951. She worked at St Edward’s one year and then moved to New Orleans accepting employment at Charity Hospital.
While in New Orleans, she and her roommates enjoyed the Mardi Gras Festivities, parades and balls. Her brothers and sisters visited often and enjoyed the French Quarter, the beach and other tourist attractions. In September 1953, John Miller, from Ft. Smith, came to visit Mary’s roommate. Following his visit, John drove on to Ft. Walton Beach, Florida, where he worked for Hughes Aircraft. Mary didn’t give him much thought.
In December that year, John called, offering a ride to Ft. Smith as he travelled home for the holidays. Mary’s roommate accepted for the both of them. Mary later said “I wasn’t sure, but I guess my guardian angel was looking out for me. I went along and our romance started!” They were engaged in March and married June 19, 1954. John often said of his Mary, “she saved me from a life of loneliness”. No one could feel lonely with Mary in their corner.
Their first years of married life included lots of children and lots of moves. John’s career took them from Florida to California to New Mexico, back to California to Texas then on to Utah. Their home was very traditional, with John working to provide income and Mary running the household. As their kids grew Mary started a home daycare business where she made many life-long family friends. They had six children in all, three boys and three girls. Mary is survived by her children, Peter (Denise), David (Nanette), Ruth (Dale), Ann (Ken), Martha (Dan) and Mark (Amy). She has twelve grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, with one more on the way.
Mary and John spent the last few years of life at Canyon Creek Assisted Living. They enjoyed concerts, outings and crafts. She counted both residents and staffers among her friends. Mary was the unofficial Mayor of Canyon Creek! John passed away in January 2018 with Mary by his side. She has now rejoined her quiet, loving, unassuming husband of 64 years.
Mary was a passionate person. She was small, but determined. Her temper could flash and then subside in equal measure, instantaneously. Mary could laugh at herself and enjoyed making others laugh. She undeniably loved holidays and parties. Mary was a great conversationalist, making small talk as well as discussing current events. Most importantly, though, Mary was compassionate. She had a welcoming smile, making friends from all walks of life. She took an interest in others, offering hospitality, support and friendship. From neighbors to store clerks, from church members to sanitation workers, Mary was your friend. And as your friend, she always had a smile for you and a way about her that made you feel both loved and cared for.
Mary’s orbit literally drew in family, friends and strangers alike. And like all celestial beings, she was one in a million.
Our North Star has but moved behind the clouds a while.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, a celebration of Mary’s life will be postponed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Mary's honor to the Utah Food Bank www.utahfoodbank.org/give-money/.