Joanne M. Miller, 41, avid volunteer, former Equitable Trust Bank teller

March 05, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Joanne M. Miller, who had been a volunteer since childhood, died Thursday of cancer at her Monkton home. She was 41.

Her commitment to helping others began when she was a child growing up in Guilford, one of nine children of Getty and Joseph Mullan, who owned Champion Brick Co.

"She started volunteering as a child at the Little Sisters of the Poor and later at the Muscular Dystrophy camp for children," said a sister, Jane M. Weisgerber of Sperryville, Va.

"I was 7 and Joanne was 9 and each Saturday we'd take the bus downtown to Biddle Street, and after the Sisters moved their home for the aged to Catonsville, we went out there by bus," said Mrs. Weisgerber. "She had a kind, generous and loving heart and so many people loved her.

"Every Christmas she adopted a family that was less fortunate. She bought presents for the entire family and even cooked the Christmas dinner which she delivered," Mrs. Weisgerber said.

For years, Mrs. Miller assisted Norma Claypool, the retired blind North Baltimore college professor who became nationally known gained a national reputation for adopting handicapped children.

"She'd come over and take the kids and Mrs. Claypool to an activity or do the grocery shopping or whatever was needed. She was so well-liked by the children and was such a nice person," said Christine Regusters, a home health aid with Peace Home, who regularly helped Mrs. Claypool and got to know Mrs. Miller.

Mrs. Miller worked with chronically ill children and adults through Operation Rainbow and volunteered at the Johns Hopkins Children's House.

A 1972 graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School, Mrs. Miller worked as a teller for Equitable Trust Bank until 1976, when she married Robert Miller, a project manager for a general contractor.

The Millers had three sons and Mrs. Miller became involved in their activities, becoming a Cub Scout den mother and a chaperon at Hereford Middle School Teen Center. ,and She also helped helping raise money for Lights Over Hereford, a project that resulted in the installation of outdoor lighting on the athletic fields of Hereford High School.

"She was always driving kids to their games and loved cooking dinner for the lacrosse team," Mr. Miller said.

"She was very popular with the other students at school and never missed a game," said a son, Patrick.

When her children moved on to high school, Mrs. Miller returned to school, studying massage therapy at the Baltimore School of Massage.

"She could barely cross the stage to get her diploma when she graduated in September," her husband said.

Said another sister, Kathleen Harrison of St. Michaels, "My sister Joanne loved life and her smile and eyes could light up the world."

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday. Mar.4 .

Other Survivors include sons Tyson and Scott; brothers Victor Mullan of Baltimore, Robert Mullan of Parkton and Donald Mullan of Sperryville; sisters Tina Albright of Trappe, Marguerite Greenman of Baltimore and Trisha Kammer of Stoneleigh; and 11 nieces and nephews.

Pub Date: 3/05/96

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