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1929 Barbara 2021

Barbara Aly Miller

October 2, 1929 — October 25, 2021

Barbara Aly Miller
October 2, 1929 – October 25, 2021
Barbara Aly Miller, devoted and beloved wife, mother and grandma, passed away on October 25, 2021 in Seattle, Washington. She was 92 years old. Barbara is survived by her sons Karl Miller of Los Angeles, California, and Paul Miller (Karen) of Columbus, Ohio, as well as daughter Anne Strandoo (Robert) of Seattle, niece Katherine Aly of Drammen, Norway, adored grandchildren Robert, Genny, Erik, Claire and Grace, and brothers Charles Aly (Mina) and Stewart Aly. She is predeceased by her father, Bower Aly, mother, Addie Johnson Aly, stepmother, Lucille Folse Aly, brother, John Aly, and sisters Joanna Aly Gray and Martha Aly.

Barbara was born in Bonne Terre, Missouri on October 2, 1929, the second child of Bower Aly and Addie Johnson Aly. She lived with her family in Columbia, Missouri throughout her childhood, apart from two years following the death of her mother in 1936, during which time Barbara and her four siblings lived with their paternal grandmother in Tucson, Arizona. Upon returning to Columbia in 1939, Barbara completed her schooling, graduating from University of Missouri Lab School (High School) in 1945 at the age of 16. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1948, and a Master of Arts in History in 1950, both from the University of Missouri. Barbara subsequently worked as a high school social studies teacher, first at Washington High School in Washington, Missouri, then at Topeka High School in Topeka, Kansas, where she met her future husband, Robert Miller. In 1953, Barbara was accepted into the Fulbright Teacher Exchange program, and spent a year in Hove, England, teaching at the Hove County School for Girls. She thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, her students, and traveling around Europe, and met lifetime friends and mentors during her time abroad. Shortly after her return to the United States, Barbara and Robert became engaged, and were married in Columbia, Missouri on June 2, 1955. The couple moved to Los Angeles, California the following year, where both worked at the University of California, Los Angeles while Robert pursued his doctorate degree. Barbara and Robert left California for Pullman, Washington in 1958. They loved their time in Pullman, where they formed enduring friendships with colleagues at Washington State University, and eventually welcomed their three children, first Karl, then Paul, and finally Anne. In 1966, Robert took a job at Central Washington University, and the family moved to Ellensburg, Washington. They arrived on the first day of the annual rodeo, much to Barbara’s exasperation. While raising her family, Barbara worked as a teacher at Hebeler Elementary School in Ellensburg, where she taught preschool and later became principal, serving in this role until 1982, when the school was closed. Barbara then founded University Daycare/Preschool, now CWU Early Childhood Learning Center, and acted as director until her retirement in 1990. Barbara and Robert then relocated, first to Indianola, Washington, and later to Bainbridge Island, Washington, where they lived until 2014, when they moved to Ida Culver House-Ravenna in Seattle, Washington.

Barbara’s life was punctuated by her love and devotion to her family, her work, and, later, her Orthodox Christian faith. After Robert (who took the Christian name Joseph) was ordained to the priesthood in 2004, she stepped into the role of Presbytera, which she found very gratifying. She and Father Joseph were extremely fond of those in their faith community.

Barbara had a keen intellect, a love for words, classical music, and travel. She also had the heart and soul of an educator, and an affinity for history and civics. The past several years were frustrating to her in this regard, and she often wondered if she had given her high school students a proper civics education. Her quick wit was evident until the end, and we were lucky to share countless laughs together through the years. During her time at Ida Culver House, she spent many happy hours playing Quiddler with her friends, and enjoyed meeting them in the dining room for meals and spirited conversation. She impacted many people as a teacher, and her lifelong quest for learning will continue to inspire us. Equally, if not more valuable, was the empathy, compassion, and love she showed her family, friends, and anyone in need. You made the world better Mom. We are grateful for your influence on our lives, and we will miss you always. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Children’s Literacy Initiative (https://cli.org/), Saints Martha and Mary Residence (https://stsmmr.org/), or the Southern Poverty Law Center (https://www.splcenter.org/ )

Arrangements are entrusted to the Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

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