Janet R. (Hille) Miller, 83, of Reading, PA, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, April, 5, 2022 at Green Hills Manor at the Heritage. She was born January 10, 1939, in Philadelphia, PA, a daughter of the late Robert and Ruth Hille. She was the wife of the late Rev. Dr. James D. Miller, with whom she shared 58 years of marriage. She is survived by sister Peggy (Jon) Wolchen of West Chester, PA; three children, Jane (Charles) Wagner of Fleetwood, PA, James P. Miller of Wrightsville, PA, and Jennifer widow of (John) Gaffney of Reading, PA; six grandchildren, Mitchell (Brittany) Racine, Sarah Racine, Jessie (Bradley) Richard, Logan (Jeremy) Daise, Chase Miller and Molly Gaffney; and six great grandchildren, Hunter, Deven, Grace, and Zechariah Richard, Nolan Racine, and Addison Daise.
She lived a full life using her incredible musical gifts that started at the young age of four playing her mother’s piano. It was discovered early on that she had perfect pitch after listening to a woman sing on the radio and Miller identifying exactly which notes the singer went flat on. Miller went on to study the pipe organ during high school with a church organist. She graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in June of 1956 where she was the accompanist for the Treble Clef Chorus. She also enjoyed gymnastics and synchronized swimming in those years. Miller continued her education by completing her bachelor’s degree while attending various schools including the Rittner’s School of Floral Design located in Boston, MA.
She worked at Penny’s Flowers in Glenside, PA for a few years before meeting the late James Miller at East Penn Camps’ Mensch Mill near Alburtis, PA in 1960. She was the lifeguard, and he was a camp counselor. The couple were married in October of that same year. They lived in East Haven, CT while the late James Miller attended Yale Divinity School and served in several churches. They continued to work at East Penn Camps’ Mensch Mill during the summers. In 1963 they moved to Leesport, PA as the late James Miller was called to be the first full time pastor of Epler’s United Church of Christ. Later they moved to Mt. Penn, PA where the late James Miller served as pastor for 42 years at Trinity United Church of Christ.
She loved spending summers with friends and family on a small island called Frenchboro that is off the coast of Maine. The late James Miller was called there to serve as the summer minister in 1967. She led the music during the many Sunday morning services and continued to serve in smaller ways into the summer of 2021. She was always in the kitchen during the annual lobster dinners lending a hand wherever needed. She also spent time making baskets and working in her gardens. Her hands seemed to be her best tool in life.
Miller was a piano teacher in the Mt. Penn area for decades. She also served as the Music Director at Trinity United Church of Christ for 25 years before retiring in 2012. She was known for her dynamic worship leading behind the piano and organ. She loved leading various vocal and bell choirs over the years and sang in many choirs throughout her entire life. The annual Pennside Christmas Carol Pilgrimage which incorporates the four different churches on North 25th Street of Mt. Penn was started over 45 years ago from an idea Miller had after attending a conference. She used her gifts to share the Gospel message, help countless couples celebrate during weddings, and comfort those who were mourning during funerals.
Visitation with family and friends will be held on Saturday, April, 9, 2022, from 2pm to 3pm with a service beginning at 3pm at Trinity U.C.C., 2449 Cumberland Ave, Reading, PA 19606. Interment is private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity U.C.C. at the address above. Lutz Funeral Home, Inc. oversees arrangements. For online condolences, please visit www.LutzFuneralHome.com
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