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Dortha M. (Handy) Miller was born in Eudora AR. to Nebraska and Ophelia (Gooden) Handy on July 5, 1933. Dortha was the only child born into this union. In 1953, Dortha M. Handy united in holy matrimony with Odie Miller, Sr. to this union, nine children were born. Dortha accepted Christ at an early age and stayed strong in her Faith and Christ until she was called home. Moving to South Bend, Indiana, Dortha’s church home became Greater St. John Missionary Baptist Church; she was a faithful servant for over 60 years serving in the Kitchen Ministry, Choir, Women’s Day Chair, Food Pantry, the March Rally, and many other church ministries.
Dortha was a mother to many; she loved life, she loved people, and she met no strangers. Her door was always open and you did not walk away from her home hungry; if you ever had the chance to hug her, you felt the love. She did not let dust grow under her feet. She enjoyed outings with her friends, Sunday dinners, cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and Sunday calls with her children.
Dortha graduated from Eudora High School and completed some college courses. Dortha was employed in several fields. Most of her employment was with Raco, Inc. as a machine operator, where she retired after 33 years. Dortha went on to join the South Bend Community School Corporation and retired after 10 years of employment. She volunteered many hours in her community with the South Bend Chapter Indiana Black Expo and the University of Notre Dame. Dortha was a 2004 recipient of the Teachers Credit Union Michiana 55 Plus Volunteer Award.
Dortha left to cherish her memory 5 children, Mrs. Rosia Perkins, Hattiesburg, MS; Mr. Murray Miller, South Bend, IN; Dr. Alice (Michael Allen) Miller, Indianapolis, IN; Ms. Karen Miller, Desoto, TX, and Mrs. Debra (Mari) Mattern, Rockville, MD.; sister-in-law Lillie M. Farris; Eudora, AR.; son-in-law Thierno Diallo, Chicago, IL; and a special sister Mrs. Adeline Jones, South Bend, IN.
17 Grandchildren: Charles (Tasha) Miller, Jr.; Brooklyn, NY; Tamara (Jonathan) Watford-Brown, Rex, GA; LaDale Miller, Bremen, IN; Camesha (Prentiss) Hervey, Desoto, TX; Dammon (Lisa) Miller, Hattiesburg, MS; LaToya Miller and Carl Miller, Jr., South Bend, IN; Takeya Williams, Indianapolis, IN; JaCarla Patton, Phoenix, AZ; Keona (Gerell) Golightly, Desoto, TX; David (Candice) Patterson; Indianapolis, IN; LaNada Miller, Addison, AL; Da’von (Joseph) Trotter, Oakland, CA; Dennis Miller, Jackson, MS; Doloria Ware, Chicago, IL; and Trey Thompson, CA.; 41 great-grandchildren, 20 great-great-grandchildren, and a host of relatives, cousins, and friends.
Additional children: Mrs. Patricia (Murray) Williams, Houston, TX; Mr. Donald (Butch) Price Miller, Banning, CA; Mr. Dana (Lana) Price, Irving, TX; and Ms. Annette Price, Austin, TX.
Additional grandchildren: Andre (Roshonda) Miller, David (Stacy) Williams, Murray Williams, Jr. and Level Williams, Wanda (Horace) Perkins, Angela Williams, Danielle and Desiree Price, Donald Alford, Chassity Wills, Jacqueline Smith, Teffanie, and Demetrius Price.
Dortha is preceded in death by her husband, Odie Miller, Sr.; her parents, Nebraska Handy and Ophelia Simmons; sons: Charles Miller Sr., Carl Miller Sr., and Odie Miller, Jr.; daughter Francine Miller; son-in-law Earnest Perkins; grandson Darrell “Mechie” Steele; and great-grandson DonTarious Bowens. Stepmother Rosia Handy, and stepfather Willie Simmons; brother Archie Simmons; and sister Queen Flemings.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness which the Lord,the righteous Judge, will award me on that day---and not only to me but, also, to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Timothy 5:7-8