The life of long-time member Jean Miller will be celebrated on Friday, September 10, at 2:00 p.m., at Newton Highlands Congregational Church, 54 Lincoln Street, Newton, MA. The service will include instrumental music and family memories; a reception will follow in the Great Hall. All of Jean’s beloved friends and companions are invited. Please wear a mask.
Jean died peacefully on July 5, 2021, having enjoyed time with her family in her final weeks. “Jean was an amazing person,” recalled Reverend Bill Cordts. “She was an enormous blessing to the church for the better part of a century and to everyone who knew her. Let’s take time to thank God for Jean’s life and for the legacy she leaves as she goes to be with God.”
Jean was an elementary teacher at Ward School in Newton and a teacher-mentor at Lesley University in Cambridge. She served on the board of Weekday Nursery for many years. She joyfully sang in the NHCC choir and loved playing music. When she moved to Lexington some years ago to be closer to family, her one stipulation was that she be allowed to bring along her piano.
“Jean was never at a loss for a quip or a laugh or a reality check,” recalled Music Director Lynd Matt. “How many of us remember her famous command to just ‘Get over it!’”
Jean was active in two Newton Highlands Congregational Church groups–Highland Circle and Nurturing Our Souls. “At our meetings, Jean and I would laugh so hard we couldn’t breathe!” stated friend Marian Reynolds. “I can hear her laughter in the quiet afternoon.”
Jean also volunteered in numerous capacities. She will be particularly remembered for exhorting fellow church members to join her in donating during year-end pledge drives and capital campaigns, and for participating in ministerial search committees.
According to deacon Kitty Rieske, Jean was well known in Newton Highlands for her cherished and prolific Christmas decorations, which she placed on every available surface in her home. She loved welcoming friends and family for delicious dinners. Church member Forrest Kaplan shared, “One day at coffee hour, Jean taught me to wink. After that, when she saw me at church, she would wink and smile.”
Moderator Sally Brickell stated, “Jean was a human dynamo–intelligent, outspoken, inspiring, ebullient! She deeply appreciated her blessings. I remember running into her at the Institute for Contemporary Art one evening and marveling together at the views of the Boston skyline. I feel comforted knowing that she is probably enjoying those views now.”