Lillian Miller of South Orange celebrated her 95th birthday on August 11 in grand style.
That night, Miller was honored in a resolution by the South Orange Village Board of Trustees. In fact, Trustee Deborah Davis Ford requested that Miller come to the stage at the South Orange Performing Arts Center for recognition during the meeting — and Miller mounted the stairs gamely, despite her walker, and with the aid of her son Ian.
Why the honor?
“It’s great to see a vibrant, active woman in her 90s,” said Davis Ford, who cited Miller’s “incredible life story.”
Miller has survived much adversity yet still retains an outward-looking perspective, participating in community life with gusto despite her years.
As the resolution detailed, Miller has survived three bouts with breast cancer, open heart surgery, uterine cancer and more, yet remains actively involved in the MetroWest JCC Senior Center where she enjoys exercise classes, lectures, and concerts. As Davis Ford said, “She likes to party!”
Miller also has traveled a long way in life. She started as one of five children in Ottawa, Canada where she went to business school; moved with her husband Harvey (now deceased) to New York City where she worked for the Department of Social Services and raised two children; and finally settled in South Orange. She is a grandmother of two and a great-grandmother of one.
Miller has also been recognized in a proclamation by the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
According to Davis Ford, Miller represents “another segment of our population that needs to be recognized.”
The Trustees could not have chosen a more grateful recipient. Said Miller, “This is one of the happiest moments of my life.”