Barbara Storey Bean was born at home in La Grande, Oregon, April 7, 1926. She is the daughter of George Ariel and Ellen (Nellie) Storey Bean. She passed away in St. Joseph's Hospital in Eureka, California, on May 3, 2012, surrounded by her family.
Barbara attended elementary schools in Union, La Grande and Island City, all in Union County in Northeastern Oregon. After graduation from La Grande High School, she attended both Eastern Oregon College of Education (later Eastern Oregon University), and graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU). When she was a young child, she picked strawberries, and also helped harvest the cherry crops in her family's orchard. While attending high school, college, and summer breaks, Barbara was employed by an Attorney, the West Coast Telephone Company, Berry and Thomas Real Estate and Insurance and at a jewelry store. At BYU, she was the supervisor of Secretarial Services in charge of typing term papers and masters' theses. Following graduation from BYU, Barbara moved to Salt Lake City where she again worked for an insurance company, and later with an interstate trucking firm engaged in the petroleum industry.
Barbara Storey Bean and Richard Guy Miller were married in the Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They became the parents of two sons, David Ian Miller, Ariel Richard Miller, and one daughter, Ellen Jeanine Miller (Messerly).
She enjoyed playing the piano, reading and writing, gardening, especially flowers and compiled history. Foremost, Barbara designed and sewed clothes for her daughter. Barbara was fascinated by her family's many hobbies including attending and supporting her husband, children and when possible her grandchildren in their many activities: Scouting, Little League, Babe Ruth Baseball, football, basketball, track, down hill and cross country skiing, band, piano, orchestra, vocal programs, dance recitals, softball and volleyball.
Barbara was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in many different assignments. While in high school, during World War II, she was asked to be editor of a twice monthly newsletter to all servicemen from the area. Since censorship was strictly enforced, her edits did not mention specific comments from the Armed Forces, and only the first name and last initial was used to identify those writing to support our troops. She taught in the Young Women's organization and in Women's Relief Society Groups from New England to Walnut Creek and Eureka, California. She also served as Nursery Leader, Primary pianist; Junior Sunday School teacher, as well as the Eureka Ward and Eureka California Stake Relief Society president for several years. During these voluntary assignments, she also worked as the Family Records Extraction Program Director for 15 years (1991-2006); Redwood/Eureka California Stake Historian, 39 years (1961-2000); Eureka/Eureka First Ward Historian 46 years, 1961-2007). From 1957 to 1975 while her children attended school, Barbara was an active contributor in Eureka School District PTAs, including serving as an officer in the PTA.
Because of her permanently damaged lungs and compromised immune system, health professionals advised Barbara to avoid public places where she might become exposed to a common cold, bronchitis, or a deadly virus. Public places included Church, stores, restaurants, doctor's offices and sporting venues. In addition to family members there were special women who made approximately 30 years of isolation tolerable. In Eureka, Carole Melanson consistently visited Barbara in her home along with Carol Lee (Kelly) Welling and Marie Nevills. For several years, Barbara and Richard lived in La Grande during the Summer and Eureka during the Winter. Whenever the Millers returned to La Grande, three amazing women frequently came to see Barbara. Heartfelt thanks to Eva Feik, Nellie Hibbert and Julie Quebbeman.
Barbara Storey Bean Miller passed away on May 3, 2012, in Eureka, California. She is survived by her husband of over 60 years, Richard Guy Miller, their sons, David Ian Miller (Marla) of San Jose, Ariel Richard Miller (Lori) of Honolulu, Hawaii, daughter, Ellen Jeanine Miller Messerly (Ernest) of Springville, Utah; eleven grandchildren and three step-grandsons; her brothers, Ariel Storey Bean and David Storey Bean (Audrey), and sister, Ruth Bean Veal, all of La Grande; three great grandchildren; four step great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her father, 1954; her mother, 1994; three month old sister, Rae, 1941; twin grandsons, Benson and Boyd Messerly 1989; two sisters-in-law, Elaine Roundy Bean 1980, Jean Ferdinandsen Bean 2003, and brother-in-law Larry Veal 2006.
A Memorial Service will be on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at 2 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Eureka. A grave side service will be held on Friday, May 11, 2012, at 2 pm at the Hillcrest Cemetery in La Grande.