Ann Miller is a true inspiration to all. A woman few could measure up to. On August 3, 1949, the world shook with joy as a brilliant mind and beautiful soul came to be. Born in Putnam, CT to the parents of Robert Joseph Miller and Marion E.K. (Leavestrom) Miller, Ann became a success, graduating from Annhurst College of Woodstock, CT with a B.A. in Sociology. During the Vietnam Era, Ann joined the United States Army, where she was stationed at Fort Jackson Training Center, and working in the behavioral health clinic. Ann went above and beyond the call of duty, helping create the first rape crisis unit in the U.S. Military. Because of this outstanding work and her dedication, Ann was awarded the Army Commendation Medal. Upon discharge, Ann continued in service to her country by joining the United States Army Reserves.
"Ann was dedicated to serving others, she stopped at nothing to advocate for others"
Ann was dedicated to serving others: she stopped at nothing to advocate for others and strive in the field of social work, working for the State of Connecticut’s Department of Developmental Services. Ann proved to be a strong advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. She continued to work hard, demonstrating her strengths and abilities in social work in multiple department locations including the former Mansfield Training Center in Mansfield, the former Seaside Regional Center in Waterford, and the former John N. Dempsey Regional Center in Putnam, until she retired in 2003. Ann worked tirelessly to empower the people she worked with and for, watching people “blossom into their full potential, which she considered a basic human right”. Working with her colleagues, Ann was able to help create a residential setting and family environment to allow those affected with disability to live more independently, bringing them out of the institution and into their own home and local communities.
Ann hosted a local cable access TV show called Hometown Pets. People all over Eastern Connecticut were able to call in and share stories about pet ownership. Being an avid animal lover, Ann enjoyed this for many years. After retirement, Ann became part of a committee to build a dog park. In fact, she co-chaired the committee to build the very first one in Eastern Connecticut, called the Estelle Cohn Memorial Dog Park, located in Norwich, CT.
Animals weren't the only passion Ann had! She was also an avid sports fan! Ann was a big fan of the UConn Huskies, the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots and she covered the Connecticut Sun for SPM sports.com. A big fan of the agility club SNEAK, Ann was blessed with many people she met along the way, including countless friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Once Ann retired from the State of Connecticut, she worked part time at the UConn School of Medicine, assisting medical students by assuming the role of human patient. This was a job she felt very strongly about, as she was very proud to be able to assist aspiring physicians to develop keener skills in caring for patients.
“She was A lover of traveling, she and her beloved Sandy bought an RV and traveled near and far, with their dogs. Ann shared her stories, making sure to point out that she and Sandy had plenty of fun, did things together as a team, experienced life, and she always felt Sandy was her "rock". In Ann's travels she visited cousins in Sweden she was able to trace online, Brigetta and Matts, strengthening their family ties. Last year Ann fulfilled a lifelong dream by traveling to Costa Rica. Ann will be remembered for her sense of adventure, her sense of humor, her generous spirit, her advocacy for person and animal alike, her love for bird watching and her love of life.”
A True Woman of HOPE
Ann died peacefully at home on Monday April 8, 2013 surrounded by her family, following a five-year battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 63. Ann is survived by her loving and supportive partner of 29 years, Sandy, her daughter Katherine, three grandchildren Mariah, Timothy and Leraa, her siblings Stephen, Maria, Ernst, Phillip, and his wife, Renee, her former sister in law and special friend, Roxanne, as well as many stepbrothers and stepsisters of the Johnston family. She leaves many nieces and nephews, Audrey Anderson and her husband, Luke, Virginia, Andrew, Austin, Taylor, Ryan, In addition she is survived by her mother and father in law, Jean and Frank. Ann also leaves with Sandy her beloved dogs Truman, Bubbles and Rocket, and Murphy the cat. Ann felt dearly about, CT Women of Hope and we felt dearly about her, she is our inspiration and our shining star, always smiling, always filled with joy and hope. There was no kinder soul. Much love and peace to you good woman. You are a woman of HOPE.