Obituaries

Mildred S. Miller

08/12/1924 - 10/10/2020

Obituary For Mildred S. Miller

Mildred S. Miller of Altoona passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family on October 10, 2020. She was born on August 12, 1924 in Pittsburgh, PA to Freda (Goodman) and David Saltsburg and attended its public schools graduating from Peabody High School. Raised with the belief that you are never too old to learn something new, Mildred devoted her life to upholding this principle and sharing it with others.

After high school, she initially worked as an office assistant in the steel industry while taking night classes at the University of Pittsburgh. Her love of country and desire for adventure motivated her to enlist in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her tour of duty took her to New York City, Iowa, and ultimately Washington, DC. Mildred took great pride in serving her country and forever loved sharing stories about her naval service.

Following an honorable discharge, she resumed her academic studies and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with both Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Education. Mildred taught early elementary grades in the Pittsburgh Public Schools for eight years, first in the inner city (Hill District) and then in Squirrel Hill, and forever fondly reminisced about the joys and challenges of teaching.

Mildred met the love of her life, Louis (Lou) Miller, through mutual friends, and they married on February 3, 1957. She followed Lou to his hometown of Altoona and then turned her energies to raising a family, substitute teaching, pursuing new hobbies, and serving an active role in the community. She enjoyed golf, yoga, knitting, and painting. Mildred was a former member of Temple Beth Israel and its Sisterhood and at the time of her passing a member of Agudath Achim Synagogue. She was a lifelong member of Hadassah and a board member of the Greater Altoona Jewish Federation. A believer in participating in the political process, Mildred served as Vice-President of the League of Women Voters. Memberships in Friends of the Altoona Public Library and the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art reflected her interests in literacy and art. She also volunteered with the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association.

Traveling opened her eyes to the world and became an important part of her zest for learning. Her love of travel and education was sparked by a solo train trip in the mid 1950’s to the West Coast to study at UCLA. On this trip she explored the entire Pacific Coast from Mexico to Canada. Mildred returned to California many times during her life to visit friends and family and enjoy the amazing geography. Other travels took her throughout the United States, Canada, South and Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. Trips to the Canadian Rockies and Israel were her most memorable. During these travels she explored her love of food, wine, art, and visiting historical cities and especially their synagogues.

Even in her later years Mildred remained an active learner. She enjoyed reading books by and about women, adding to her cookbook collection, and attending book discussions and Torah study. She remained intellectually curious throughout her life, informed about current events and politics and loved discussing current events with her beloved grandchildren. She was proud of her reputation as an accomplished cook and generous entertainer. Visitors to the house that she built with her husband in 1959 were treated often to wine and cheese and dinner parties with her favorite jazz music playing in the background. Mildred also had a flair for fashion and loved talking about, shopping for, and dressing in the latest styles.

Mildred’s love of learning also provided her with a unique ability to connect with people across generations and all walks of life. She took a special interest in younger people, curious about their history, interests, and future plans. She loved initiating conversations with whomever she met -- from the supermarket butcher to fellow plane passengers -- and will be missed dearly by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her children: Harry Miller, M.D. of Beverly Hills, CA and Debra Miller of Springfield, NJ; her son-in-law: Amiram Dror; and her granddaughters who were her pride and joy: Arielle Dror, 22, and Danielle Dror, 20. Her husband, Lou, and brother, Elliott Saltsburg, predeceased her.

Due to Covid, a grave side service for immediate family was held. A memorial service will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Mildred’s memory be made to The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, or Altoona Area Public Library.

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Mildred was our neighbor early in our marriage and a lively friend. Her obituary very accurately communicated her love of life and learning. She was a humble and kind woman.
- Michele Fiore

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Funeral Director

Joseph J. Stevens III

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Joseph J. Stevens III