by Julie Gabell
MARY JANE MILLER
Split Rail Village
Five minutes after you first meet Mary Jane Miller, you know she is mother to five “whiz kids.” What you may not know is that this apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Mary Jane has her own wide variety of talents.
Born in Latrobe, PA, east of Pittsburg, Mary Jane grew up in the golden era when children played hopscotch, made choices with a simple “eenie, meenie, miney, mo,” and settled disputes with a punch and a handshake. She and her friends thrived on a good healthy lifestyle …
Mary Jane met Mike Miller at a school dance while she was still 15 and very much involved with school activities. Mike went off to college and it wasn’t until they met again several years later that they became romantically involved. They married in 1951 when Mike was a Senior in college. To make ends meet at that time, Mary Jane worked as a bookkeeper/secretary to the manager of a construction company.
The couple’s first child was born the following summer, and four other children arrived in subsequent years to complete the thriving family. Around this same time, Mike’s career in advertising took off and freed Mary Jane to devote herself entirely to her children.
Throughout the years, the Miller family moved to various sections of the country, each time pursuing new projects and interests. Pittsburgh, Chicago, Ohio, Atlanta, South Carolina, Clearwater: they all played a part in the little family’s development. When they finally discovered Beacon Woods in 2004, Mary Jane felt she had found the ideal place to unleash her latent talents.
In the past she had volunteered at libraries, actively supported the Leukemia Society, served as Musicians hospitality chair for the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, and raised five kids. Now it was time for HER!
She had always loved music and the theater, had sung with an opera workshop, been part of a musical comedy troupe, and had acted in local plays. Beacon Woods provided similar opportunities, and had the Beacon Woods Carolers. She loved people, was good at organizing, and Beacon Woods had the Good Times Club. The library was only minutes away, something that had always been important to her.
Beacon Woods was a perfect match!
As time went on, Mary Jane dabbled in art, another unexplored talent. Encouraged by her daughter, she signed up for classes in folk art at the Dunedin Art Center.
Still this was not enough to satisfy the unstoppable Mary Jane. At the request of her children, she compiled a book of her favorite recipes; she learned the basics of blogging and created her own blog. Most recently, she finished a novel, The Girl with the Turquoise Hair. There was no end to the “hidden sides” of Mary Jane!
This is why we number this talented woman among other notable residents who make Beacon Woods one of the outstanding residential communities of Pasco County.
Beacon Woods Civic Association, Inc.
12440 Clocktower Parkway
Bayonet Point, FL 34667
Fax (727) 863-4857
2015 Board of Directors
President - Peggy Weiss
Vice President - Jim Massey
Secretary - Mary Moore
Treasurer- Ken Smith
Director - Ron Hubbs
Director - John Gearity
Director - Bill Bunting
Director - Joe Kelly
Director - Iggy Rodriguez