Barbara Miller

Barbara Ann Boots Miller, aged 77, passed away Friday, August 10, 2018 at Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis, MO. Barb was born to Nancy and Roger Boots in St. Louis September 26, 1940. She attended Christian College and the University of Kansas, then married Fredrick E. Miller on February 9, 1963, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Leavenworth, KS. Barb and Fred raised three children in San Diego, CA, moving to Ames, IA in the 1980s.

Barb was a true co-pilot, charting the course for her family, always navigating and at the ready. She once took a “right-seater” course, taking off and landing a single-engine plane on her own, so that she could be there for her husband if he ever needed back-up during flight. Fred was her pilot—deployed with the U. S. Navy in Vietnam at the beginning of their family journey together—but Barb lovingly governed the family day in and day out. Family, school, work, church . . . she embodied exceptional values for her children. She spent many hours in loving service work for her church, especially the Mission San Diego de Alcala.

Barb loved to read, and she was a skilled crafter, known for her sewing and dozens of quilting projects. Many of those quilts are on display in her own and her children's homes. She loved music (her favorites included her son's drumming, the new-age genre and all things Pink Floyd). She was a dedicated companion animal rescuer, advocate and forever-mom. Barb always had a greenhouse full of plants and some form of garden in every home she shared with Fred, as well as plenty of birdhouses and feeders (woe to the squirrels who tried to take advantage of them!). She never would have admitted it, but she was an amazing hostess for family, friends and neighbors.

For the last several decades of Barb’s life, she and Fred anchored at Lake of the Ozarks, MO, a perfect venue to experience nature’s beauty. Barb was especially enamored with eagle birdnest cams; she wiled away many an hour watching hatchlings grow up to fledge, and she and Fred visited the Southwest Florida and Decorah, Iowa nests in person several times.

Barb is survived by her husband, Fred, her children Lisa, Mindy (Sandy), Brandon (Diana), grandchildren Fiona and Johnny; brother Tom and sister Linda, and beloved dog, Max.

Mass of Christian burial will begin at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with Rev. David McEvoy, O.Carm as celebrant. Visiation will begin at 10 a.m. prior to the funeral at the church. Inurnment will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. All are welcome to gather over a meal afterwards at St. Joseph Church.

The family is especially grateful for the loving care and support in her last months from her caregivers Lori Kimble and Liz Voltmer, and for the incredible staff in her last week at Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St Louis.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, the Raptor Resource Project, or the Ozarks Kat and K9 Shelter. These were all close to Barb and support life in a way that meant a great deal to her. She will be missed so very much.