Wilda (Durfee) Miller (March 25, 1912 - October 26, 1990)

The Lusk Herald
October 31, 1990

Wilda D. Miller

Wilda Durfee Miller died Tuesday Oct. 26, 1990, at Niobrara Memorial Hospital, following an extended illness. She was 78.

Born March 25, 1912, in the Bronx, New York City, she was the only daughter of Clayton Durfee, a principal in the New York City school system, and Dessa Ayres Durfee, a former teacher. She was educated in the Bronx public schools, and subsequently earned a bachelor of science in biology at Hunter College, and a master of science in geology from Columbia University.

After leaving Colombia, she served on the faculty of Hunter College for several years. In 1936, she married Dr. B. Maxwell Miller, of Powell, Wyo. who had been a Columbia classmate. He was a research geologist with Texaco and its subsidiaries throughout his professional career, and the couple moved frequently in their early years together.

They lived in Texas; in Mattoon, Ill., and in Tulsa, Okla.; (where their two children were born) before moving to Pleasantville, N.Y. (in suburban New York City), in 1950. They would remain there for 12 years.

After completing coursework for and EdD degree from Columbia (during which time she also sold real estate in Westchester County), she taught high school in Briarcliff and Thornwood, N.Y. later joining the professional staff of the Karrafin Institute in Mt. Kisco N. Y. During this time, she was also involved in many community and charitable organizations, ranging from scouting, to hospital volunteer work to teaching Sunday School.

The family moved to Powell when Max retired in 1964; and there, Wilda resumed her volunteer work ands teaching career. After Max died in 1967, she taught in the Gillette public schools for a time, before going to work for the state as a social worker in Niobrara County in the 1970's.

Although she retired in 1980, she continued to serve as an advocate for the elderly on the Governor's Commission for the Aging and in other capacities; and she continued to be active in the Congregational Church, until she fell victim to Alzheimers Disease. During the past few years, she had been confined to the Niobrara County Nursing Home.

She is survived by a brother, George Durfee, and his family, of Oceanside, Calif. ; her daughter, Beverly, of Boise, Idaho; her son, Bruce of Omaha, Neb.' her late brother Jack's family in South Carolina ; her close cousins in upstate New York, and by her husband's cousins in Powell.

Arrangements are under the supervision of the Peet Mortuary. No services will be held in Lusk. She will be interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell.

The family would like to thank the people of Lusk for the love and support they gave Wilda during her years in Lusk and particularly during her final illness. They deeply appreciate the kindness and consideration extended to her (and them) when they could not be there to assist in her most difficult hours. Memorials may be made the Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Association (AARDA) the Niobrara County Library, the Congregational Church, or any favorite charity.

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