LaVerne Miller aged 87, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 26, 2020 succumbing to a long history of respiratory illness. A long time resident of Chicago, IL before relocating to Winter Park, FL. She was born on July 5, 1932 to parents Willetta and Logan Watson, long time residents of Robbins, IL. She was the proud mother of five adoring children, and the surviving widow of her loving husband George Miller who died in May of 1997.
First and foremost, she was a woman of immense faith, who exemplified the calling to love god, and others. This love included animals, for she had an ever-expanding collection of rescued fur-babies and fur-grandbabies. She was a kind and faithful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. The first call you made, when you were in need of both help and prayer was to Mother Miller who was more than happy to add you to her prayer line and make a call to one of her endless list of friends. Her wisdom was boundless, yet never judging, and her ability to forgive, often awe-inspiring.
In her 87 years of life, she had truly seen the world change. For LaVerne had been on the front lines of that change. A Veteran of the Women’s Army Core, a Scholar who graduated from Mundelein College and Loyola University with honors and a Master’s degree in Social work, a Sorority Sister of Delta Sigma Theta – Lake County Chapter, and an active participant in the Civil Rights movement; no LaVerne never stood on the slide lines of life. While living in Chicago, LaVerne sat on several charitable and social action boards, and served as a Trustee for Shield Township of North Chicago, Great Lakes, and Lake Bluff. From organizing and marching for equal rights, to campaigning and voting for the first black president; LaVerne pushed up her sleeves, and helped make the change she wanted to see in this world.
After working as a social worker for the Veterans Administration for 32 years, she retired from the Veteran’s Medical Center, Great Lakes, and relocated to Winter Park, FL. But ever the woman of service, her calling continued. She volunteered for the Orlando VA for 15 years and became a mentor and coach to many. Because of LaVerne taking personal interest in them, multiple young people followed her extraordinary footsteps into the healthcare field.
She was a woman who lived both the depth and breath of life. Everywhere she went was an opportunity to make a friend and touch a soul. She was there for those in need. LaVerne knew the sorrow that life brings us all. But even through the most wrenching pain, like the loss of her beloved son Billy, her faith remained steadfast, and LaVerne’s service to god, family, country, and friend; never waivered.
Loving LaVerne Miller was a team sport, we had to share her, not just with our amazing family, but with almost everyone she met. For to my LaVerne every friendly, lonely, or yearning face was her daughter, son, or potential grandchild. This open and nurturing demeanor earned her the moniker, Mother Miller or Mother LaVerne.
So now with this great loss we know that our family does not mourn alone. LaVerne Miller was our living example of a strong, black, woman; born in a time when that was not an easy thing to be. LaVerne, a woman who organized, marched, voted, and inspired others; leaves a legacy and world community that is a better place. She passes that mantle and her calling for service to her four surviving daughters: Theata Jubert, Finis Troupe, Natalia Armstrong, and Luvilla Armstrong. To her living stepson: George Miller III, to her grandchildren; Adrienne Troupe, Kennith Troupe, Natasha Jubert, Olivia Badie, Tonya Ford, Devon Mosesel, and Delores Mosesel. As well as her nine beautiful great-grandchildren including: Kylee, Kennidy, & Natalia.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Willetta and Logan Watson, her son William Armstrong, her Husband George Elwood Miller, her stepdaughter Deidra Mosesel, and one grandchild James Mosesel Jr.
We, and all who should follow us, stand on her shoulders now. We too must take up her fight to leave the world, better than we found it. For as her family and friends we know she is resting in a peaceful place, wrapped in the large welcoming arms of her son William Armstrong. They look down upon us smiling, for we have two guardian angels, now.