Oct. 26, 2019 — Marilyn Miller, 77, passed away Oct. 23, 2019, in Florence.
Born June 1, 1942, in Dallas, Texas, to parents Jeanne Vical and Hugh Milton Miller, the American Southwest was Marilyn’s first home — living in Denton, Texas, and then Albuquerque, New Mexico where she graduated from high school.
She spent one year of high school in Auckland, New Zealand, and another at Siuslaw High School, where she was a cheerleader.
She also studied at the University of New Mexico.
Following her interest in the business world, she worked as Office Manager at Roberts Corporation in Albuquerque, and then as executive secretary to the company president of Tenneco in Bakersfield, Calif.
From 1977 to 1982, she was vice-president of Benefit Systems in Santa Monica, Calif., where she managed employee stock option plans (ESOP), pension plans and defined benefit plans.
At that time, Benefit Systems was the second largest ESOP administration firm in the U.S.
While her years in the Southwest initiated her to deserts, mountains and warm beaches, it was the Northwest that she truly loved — specifically the Central Coast of Oregon — where the family spent many summers at Siltcoos Lake.
At the end of 1982, Marilyn moved to the Northwest for good. In 1985, she opened Coastal Answering and Business Services, a full-service secretarial business which she owned and operated until 1996 — first on Maple Street in Old Town and lastly on Oak Street.
She built a substantial and loyal clientele serving many Florence businesses. She retired from her business and eventually worked part time for three years at Grocery Outlet.
As a long-time resident of Dunes City, Marilyn was active in local government, serving seven years on the Dunes City Planning Commission, five of which she served as a chairwoman; as Dunes City Councilor for four years and three years on West Lane Planning Commission as chairwoman for three of those years.
She actively lobbied for clean water and shoreline protection as well as sustainable development and guardianship of Oregon’s unique share of Nature’s bounty.
Marilyn was also active in a variety of community organizations. She was a past board member of Siuslaw Area Women’s Center (now SOS). She helped in the establishment of a safety house in Florence for abused women and the beginnings of Florence Food Share.
She and her friend, Gini James, helped organize and run the Focus Four hotline. She served as vice president of the Florence Coordinating Council and was nominated in 1993 for the Florence Area First Citizen award. She was a member of Coastal Consensus Group, the Task Force on Drugs and Alcohol and a longtime member of Soroptimist International of Florence and Florence Area Democratic Club.
Marilyn enjoyed traveling and took many trips back to Albuquerque and Santa Monica, as well as Mexico and Europe. In keeping with her devotion to the Northwest, she traveled to both Barrow, Alaska, and Lake Banff, Canada, each on a Summer Solstice during the first decade of this century.
She was an avid reader and enjoyed trying to outwit crossword puzzles.
Marilyn enjoyed celebrating holidays with family and friends, always contributing her well-known and irresistible pumpkin pies.
Marilyn, you were a big part of the Florence community and you will be missed.