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.