Ethel B. Miller, 91

Ethel B. (Bean) Miller, 91, wife of the late William J. Miller, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 28, 2022, at Chestnut Knoll in Boyertown.

Born in Pottstown, she was the daughter of the late Herbert and Elizabeth (Koch) Bean.

Ethel was a life-long resident of the Pottstown/Douglassville Area. She graduated from North Coventry High School, where she was the ultimate multi-tasker: Class President all four years, captain of the field hockey team, newspaper staff, Glee Club, Student Council, Class Play, and Camera Club. She had aspirations to become a model but instead chose marriage to her beloved Bill and, eventually, motherhood.

After many years as the smiling face at the teller window for National Bank of Boyertown, Douglassville branch, and subsequent to the loss of her husband, Ethel made a successful mid-life career change, becoming an employment counselor with the state of Pennsylvania Employment Office, where she screened and placed qualified job applicants with local and regional businesses, until her retirement.

Ethel faced every life challenge with resilience—from the sudden death of beloved husband, Bill, when she was just 44 and had a 14 year old at home and two children in college, to her recent year-long battle with congestive heart failure. In addition to the decades-long struggle with allergy-asthma and macular degeneration, she conquered breast cancer in her 60s, knee replacements in her 70s, and falls with broken bones in her 80s. But her battle with congestive heart failure and AFib was her toughest. It kept knocking her down, and she fought back up. She wanted to dine with her new friends at Chestnut Knoll and read more books to her cuddly great grandchildren. She never lost hope, because that was what kept her going.

Ethel was active in community service throughout her life, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, Douglassville Women’s Club(Corresponding Secretary), and Shenkel United Church of Christ. She was an avid gardener, reader and baker. Her cookies were always best-sellers at fund-raising bazaars. Her Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling was second-to-none. Ethel loved Italian wedding soup and lemon cake, surf’n’turf and Archway Cookies, audiobooks and Hallmark movies, sending and receiving emails on her iPad and photos on her Alexa, hydrangeas and irises, and any shade of purple. Her most joyful times were spending time with friends and family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her upbeat personality and ready smile will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Surviving are her children William R. Miller, husband of Arlene; Carol A. Wilen, wife of Glenn; Robert A. Miller, husband of Kelly; and Barry D. Miller, husband of Susan; sister Martha Baynes, wife of Thomas; brother Ronald Bean, husband of Maureen; grandchildren Jessica, Kyle, Nicole, Michael, and Brooke; and great grandchildren Lucy, Beau, Jordan, and Tully. She is predeceased by her brother Harold Bean, sister Arlene Gohean, brother Carl Bean, sister Myrtle Barto, and grandson Douglas Wilen.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday, December 1, 2022 at Shenkel United Church of Christ, 1580 Shenkel Road, Pottstown, PA. Visitation with family/friends begins at 10:30, followed by church service at 11:00 and cemetery service at 11:45. Luncheon will be served at noon in the church social hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made, in Ethel’s name, to the FPIES Foundation ( Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome, or to the BrightFocus Foundation (macular degeneration research, or to Shenkel United Church of Christ (

Add My Condolences

I just learned of Ethel’s passing in December. Ethel was a wonderful neighbor to us on Merritt Avenue. My condolences to her family.

~ Debbie Davis
2/25/2023 11:42:07 AM