Gloria Marie (Lagomarsino) Miller of Monument Beach, 91, died in her sleep the evening of July 28. She had been staying at her daughter’s home in Teaticket for the last two months.
She was the widow of Charles John Miller, who died November 24, 2010. The couple had celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary on September 16 of that year.
She was born in Englewood, New Jersey, the daughter of Angelo and Letisia L. (Cevasco) Lagomarsino. She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, and graduated from Tenafly High School, where she sang in the glee club.
Prior to her marriage in 1956, Ms. Miller worked in New York City as a proofreader and assistant to the business manager of Mechanical Engineering magazine. Many years later, her only grandson would become a mechanical engineer and subscribe to the same publication.
Her first job in the city was working in an office in the Empire State Building, at 102 stories the tallest building in the world at that time. After her first week of employment that July in 1945, a plane crashed into the side of the upper part of the skyscraper; fortunately, the accident happened on a Saturday so she was not there, but her mother was so worried she begged her daughter to find work elsewhere and Ms. Miller did so.
As a child of the Great Depression, her family had little money and raised vegetables in a large garden and kept chickens and rabbits. Ms. Miller was enamored with the game of Monopoly when it came out, but the family could not afford the purchase, so she made her own gameboard and used pebbles and buttons for houses, hotels, and the other game pieces.
Her mother, an accomplished seamstress, taught her to sew at an early age, and she made blouses for one of her schoolteachers to earn pocket money.
Following her husband’s return home after serving in Okinawa during the Korean War and subsequent posting at Fort Dix, he was transferred to Otis Air Force Base in 1962. The couple and their three young children moved to Cape Cod from Closter, New Jersey, where they had been renting a house.
During her first few years living on the Cape, Ms. Miller was homesick for New Jersey, where her mother, brother, grandmother and cousins lived. As often as possible, the family would make the car trip “home” that would take six hours before the completion of the Connecticut Turnpike and other highways. During these visits, they would take their children to the Bronx Zoo, Palisades Amusement Park, museums and other places.
Growing accustomed to the Cape lifestyle, Ms. Miller began to enjoy her new life here, and took her children for picnics and weekly trips to the library. They would sometimes join her husband when he went fishing or shellfishing and explore and play nearby. When her own mother’s longtime landlady died, she broke up housekeeping and moved from New Jersey to permanently join the family here.
The prices of property in New Jersey had increased drastically, so the Millers decided to use the funds they had saved for their own home to buy a house in Bourne Village in 1967 prior to Mr. Miller’s retirement from the Air Force three years later. After raising their family, they eventually built a retirement home in Monument Beach using the architectural plans they had carried with them for decades.
In contrast to her husband’s active involvement in community affairs and civic responsibilities in his retirement, Ms. Miller preferred to continue her pastimes of reading, walks along the Cape Cod Canal, and working jigsaw and crossword puzzles, as well as knitting and preparing the vegetables they grew and the fish he caught and sharing these efforts with family and friends. She and her husband attended many of their five grandchildren’s performances and sporting events, along with family cookouts and celebrations the year around.
Every summer they would attend shows at the Cape Cod Melody Tent and elsewhere to indulge their appreciation of music. Ms. Miller was sure to be in the audience whenever Vince Gill, her favorite performer, was nearby, and frequently had the opportunity for a quick handshake as he approached her entrance-aisle seat. Each winter they would spend several weeks in Florida, always traveling by car and stopping to visit other points of interest on the way down and back.
In recent years, she had enjoyed many weekends in Brownfield, Maine, picking fruit (blueberries, peaches, apples by season), spending time down the 22 steps to the lake to sit on the deck or dock, walking and visiting with neighbors, buying fresh eggs and beef at the local farms and seeing their resident animals, and going to dinner-shows in the evenings at Stone Mountain Arts Center.
She leaves her children, Cynthia M. Haskell of Teaticket, Richard C. Miller of Wareham and Kenneth J. Miller of Stuart, Florida; her grandchildren, Krystal M. Miller of Monument Beach, Vanessa L. Clay of Bourne, Jeffrey A. Haskell of Stoneham, Jennifer M. Haskell of San Mateo, California, and Jessica L. Haskell of Teaticket; and eight great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her younger brother, Robert A. Lagomarsino, who died in 2013. Her father died in 1952 and her mother died in 1991.
A private family service will be August 21, her husband’s birthday, at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made “In memory of Gloria M. Miller, daughter of Cindy Haskell” to VNA of Cape Cod-Hospice, PO Box 370, Hyannis, MA 02601-0370; People For Cats, PO Box 422, West Falmouth, MA 02574-0422; or Stone Mountain Arts Center, 695 Dugway Rd., Brownfield, ME 04010.
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