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BLOOMINGTON — Beverly Miller, 86, of Bloomington, died April 15, 2017, at her home after a brief illness, surrounded by loved ones.

She was born in Center City, Minn., on July 14, 1930, to George and LaVonne (Tierney) Peterson. At the age of 5, her family moved to Indianapolis, Ind. She continued to spend many summers on her aunt and uncle's farm in Center City. In 1948, she graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, focusing on home economics.

Beverly enjoyed playing tennis, was active in roller derby and was a semi professional bowler, having bowled with the late professional bowler Dick Weber.

She worked in manufacturing until her marriage to Leo Miller in 1953, with whom she had her only child, Cheri. In 1960, Bev relocated to Wallingford, Conn., for her husband’s job.

She returned to the workforce in ’70s. She worked for many years as the sous chef at the Yale Motor Inn in Wallingford, Conn. She was proud to have cooked for many famous entertainers who performed at the local summer stock theater. She spent her later years as the head cook for the Meals on Wheels and Head Start programs in Middlesex County.

At the age of 70, she retired and moved to Bloomington to be near her daughter, with whom she later resided.

While not having an extensive formal education, Bev formed her wisdom through hard-earned life experiences, paying attention to current events, and reading. She was passionate about politics, tennis, UConn basketball and dogs. She loved cooking and spending time with those she loved. She was fiercely loyal to her daughter, Cheri; being a loving, proud, and dedicated mother was by far, her most cherished accomplishment.

According to Bev, she “lived life on her terms.” While known to be feisty, determined, and notably independent in nature, she was equally playful and childlike, especially during the Christmas season. To say she loved playing Santa Claus would be an understatement. She took great pleasure in white Christmas lights and snowmen collectibles.

Bev was thoughtful and plain spoken, never shying from meaningful conversation. Being sensitive but straight forward, she openly shared her opinions and left no questions as to where she stood in terms of her personal beliefs, values and feelings. If Bev loved you, you knew it. She was truly someone you could confide in and it is no surprise how she became “Mother” to so many throughout her life.

Bev was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. Survivors include her daughter, Cheri (Jolie Hoffman); daughters of the “heart,” Janet Pardo, Mary Sweet, Sue Jansky, Sue Neville; one grandson of the “heart,” Ryan Burchett; and granddogs, Ruby and Idgie.

According to her wishes, Bev will be cremated with a private celebration of her life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wish Bone Canine Rescue, Child Protection Network-McLean County and OSF Hospice.

Special thanks to all those who made the last months of Bev’s life special: St. Joe third floor OSF Hospice – especially Nurse Julie; Baxters’s American Grille; J. Caugahron; Jack Lewis Jewelers; Pastor Christine McNeil at St. John’s Lutheran Church; and to all her dear and loyal friends and “daughters.”

Condolences may be shared with the family at eastlawn-bloomington.com.

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