Cover photo for Margaret L. Miller's Obituary
Margaret L. Miller Profile Photo

Margaret L. Miller

Margaret Miller, recently of Burke, Virginia, was an Oral History editor and a cherished member of communities in Texas and California. Her family was originally from Sharon, Pennsylvania, and includes many relatives who will miss her, her youngest brother Monsignor L. T. Snyderwine, among them. Their parents, Leo and Evangeline “Van” Snyderwine would have had her named Peggy Lou, but determined to follow certain conventions, she was christened Margaret Louise. Within a close family, Margaret grew to value family ties. Peg Snyderwine, was completing high school as the US was entering World War II and with a reputation for highest marks in mathematics, she aspired to learn all she could regarding aerodynamics. She was, in one article, quoted as hoping to learn to fly aircraft; she recalled these aspirations as connected to an ambition to follow her older brother Bob into the armed services. As life provided later opportunities, Peggy worked in Hollywood as administrative support for Jane Wyman, just as the star was working on expanding to producing and other aspects of television work, in the 1950s.

After marrying B.V. Miller, an aerospace engineer, Peggy and the family followed the US space program across country. Once the family settled with a Texas home-base, Peggy’s advanced degree in American Studies positioned her well for work with the Baylor University Oral History program, in the History Department. Her thesis work had closely documented the rise of Baptist-sponsored hospitals around the nation. Throughout her entire life, she was a proponent of capturing the stories and histories preserved by individuals and communities through their informal and intimate recordings. In her home, whether it was the show tunes of musicals or the cheering crowds of baseball, there was always joyful noise.

In later life, Peggy came to live in Northern Virginia with the family of her daughter, Melissa Miller and her son-in-law Steve Kern, and grandson Eli Kern. Peggy’s memory will be cherished, by family and friends from the East Coast to the West Coast. As a raconteur, she studied humor, was always delighted by the power of spoken language, and will be remembered as a connoisseur of puns, great and small. Margaret collected catch phrases and wielded them with dexterity. One quip she might use to punctuate a story existed in various phrasings: “Ain’t God a Sport!” To savor this recollection, ‘though, one must acknowledge Margaret’s editorial rigor: following her style, colloquial language with proper citation, and only where demanded by character, situation or story.

Tributes can be extended, in memory of Margaret Miller, to the World Central Kitchen foundation of chef Jose Andres:!/donation/checkout .

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