NORMAN — Nadine Melton “Dean” Miller, 98, passed away Saturday, June 15, 2013, at Brookhaven Extensive Care in Norman after tenaciously, courageously and with great strength and dignity surviving a massive stroke that struck her down in July 1979 at the age of 64, leaving her egregiously restricted for the remainder of her years.
A memorial service to celebrate her life will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Havenbrook chapel, with interment to follow at the IOOF Cemetery in Norman, where she will be laid to rest next to her husband of 71 years.
“Dean” was born Feb. 20, 1915, in Olustee, to Jim and Mae Newton Melton. She was the youngest of seven children who are all deceased. Dean graduated from high school in Tulsa, moving to Oklahoma City on her marriage, Dec. 20, 1934, to Burness C. “B.C.” Miller. “B.C.” and “Dean” lived in the south Oklahoma City Capitol Hill area during the early years of their marriage while B.C. traveled on the Interurban to Norman to establish and operate Miller’s Bike Shop, which be bought from two of his brothers in 1932. On Dec. 24, 1935, “Dean” gave birth to her only child, James C. “Jimmy” Miller. The family moved to Norman a few years later.
“Dean” was a wife, mother and homemaker, all common occupations for her time. She was also a business woman, behind the scenes, working in and for her husband’s business doing the books and the paperwork, also common among wives of small businessmen at the time. In addition, for several years during the 1960s, “Dean” worked full time in the bursar’s office of the University of Oklahoma, leaving her friends reluctantly, around 1966, to be available full time to the family business when it expanded to include motorcycles at a new location on Classen Boulevard.
“Dean” loved her brothers and sisters and other extended family with the same interest and concern as her husband and son, but there was no doubt her son, “Jimmy,” was her joy. Living on an acreage south of Norman during the war years of the 1940s, the years when Jimmy was growing up, “Dean” planted, harvested, canned and cooked, not only for herself, B.C. and Jimmy but also for her father and whatever extended family or new friend needed a home or meal.
“Dean” loved to cook, having attended cooking school; she loved to shop, spend weekends at their trailer on Lake Texoma, play cards with friends, eat Mexican food at El Charrito’s in Capitol Hill and drive around the back roads of small-town Oklahoma on weekends with B.C., looking for the best hamburger, breakfast or adventure.
“Dean” loved Jesus and kept her Bible by her side to the end. After her stroke and impairment, which affected her speech and sight, she made her greatest effort to maintain some ability to recognize her favorite Bible passages, as can be told from her Bible’s well-worn pages.
“Dean” was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, B.C.; her parents, named above; and all her brothers and sisters, Edna Melton Morgan, Chris Melton, John Melton, Annie Melton Cox, Gwen Melton Staples and Eva Mae Drake.
“Dean” is survived by her son, Jimmy and his wife Deanna of Norman; grandsons Mark Mitchell Miller and Brent Clay Miller, both of Oklahoma City; step-grandchildren Danielle Benderly and family of Portland and Ari Benderly and partner Heidi Dunkelgod of San Francisco; nieces Shirley Cox Vanderburg Womack and husband Gene of Goldsby and Ginger Gammon-Stoltzsus and husband Steve of Peru; nephews Ed Morgan and wife Mary of Tulsa and Bill Morgan and wife Mary of Seattle; great-grandchildren Isaac and Hannah Ruth Miller of Piedmont, Zane and Mya Miller of Oklahoma City and Alexandra Benderly of Portland, Ore.; grand-nieces and nephews Randy Vanderburg of Goldsby, Roy Vanderburg and wife Michelle and family of Noble, Becky Vanderburg Sturgill and husband Kenneth and family of Goldsby and Rick Vanderburg’s widow Gala Vanderburg and family of Noble.
The family would like to thank Dean’s many caretakers for their kindness and care during her years at home. We thank Arbor House Reminisce and Brookhaven Extensive Care and their many caretakers for their years of care and kindness within their facilities. More recently, we thank Heartland Hospice and all staff who lovingly cared and watched over “Dean” during her final decline.
Dr. Hal Belknap, doctor to “Dean” for many years, predeceased her, but he is in our memory. We thank both Dr. Rene Ballard and Dr. Paul Plusquellec of the Norman Clinic for Dean’s more recent medical care.
Arrangements for “Dean” and her family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.
Online condolences may be shared at havenbrookfuneralhome.com.
Norman Transcript, Tuesday, June 18, 2013