Anna Marie Irish Miller, 86, of Johnson City, died Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012, at the Johnson City Medical Center in the warm embrace of her loving and admiring family.
Anna Marie was born in Knox County, Tenn., on April 3, 1925, to Hazel Adrian (H.A.) and Nelle Woods Irish, the oldest of two children. She was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Elizabeth Ann; and a grandson, Matthew Nicholas Miller, all of Johnson City. She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Samuel Burkhead Miller; two sons, Samuel B. Miller II and daughter-in-law Susan Coburn Miller, and William A. Miller and daughter-in-law Janet Whitson Miller, all of Johnson City; three daughters, Kathryn Wilder of Johnson City; Janet Miller Haas and son-in-law Mike Haas of Columbia, S.C.; and Carol Lee Miller and son-in-law David H. Coburn of Charlotte, N.C.; eleven grandchildren, Shawn Youngman and husband Scott Youngman; S. Neil Miller, Leia K. Miller, Anna C. Miller and Samuel B. Miller III; Hunter Bradford, Fletcher Bradford, Kaitlyn Haas, Eve Haas, Madison Coburn and Taylor Coburn; three great grandchildren, Ella, Madelyn and Sophia Youngman; a brother, Herbert Addison (H.A.) Irish of Mobile, Ala., and several nieces and nephews.
Anna Marie attended Science Hill High School, where she excelled as a student, cheerleader and ROTC sponsor. She graduated from East Tennessee State College, now East Tennessee State University, in 1947 with a bachelor’s degree in education and worked as a teacher in the Knox County school system. On Aug. 11, 1948, she married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, Samuel B. Miller, and found her true calling and passion in life as wife, mother, and homemaker. Together they raised two sons and four daughters, and the house on the hill on South Roan Street where they lived for the past 48 years became a haven and place of joyful reunions where Anna Marie taught her children the meaning of unconditional love and led her life with a grace and dignity that seemed effortless. Together, “Mimi and Daddy B” elevated the art of spoiling grandchildren to a new level, showering them with homemade baby quilts and dresses and lamb cakes and their constant and enduring love and attention. The kitchen became the gathering place at Thanksgiving, Christmas and other get-togethers because that’s where Anna Marie could be found, preparing yet another delicious meal for her family. An avid crafter, Anna Marie filled the house with touches of her understated elegance, from her beautiful handmade quilts, stained glass and calligraphy to the ever-present orchids lining the windowsill of her kitchen.
Outside of the home, Anna Marie was active in the community from the days of her youth, when she played a key role in Johnson City’s scrap metal drive to support the war effort during World War II. She was an associate member and past president of the Monday Club and a member of the Junior League. She served for many years as a volunteer for the Washington County Election Commission. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church. A fiercely loyal and devoted friend, she had many lifelong friendships and enjoyed golfing trips and shopping outings with her husband and their closest friends.
The family would like to thank the staff of the Johnson City Medical Center and especially Shawn and Scott Youngman for their compassionate and professional care during Anna Marie’s illness.
Arrangements are in the care of Morris-Baker Funeral Home, 2001 Oakland Ave., Johnson City. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 starting at 5 pm followed by a 7 pm service to be held at the funeral home officiated by Garland Thayer, from First United Methodist Church. Private burial services will take place on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:30 am at Oak Hill Cemetery in Johnson City.
Active Pallbearers will be grandsons, S. Neil Miller, Samuel B. Miller III, sons-in-law, David H. Coburn, Mike Haas, Scott Youngman; and Tyler Baker. Honorary Pallbearers will be Hanes Lancaster, Jr., Ted Morris, Don Spurrell, Sr. and James E. Brading. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be offered to the ETSU Foundation, Box 70712, Johnson City, TN 37614.