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Welcome to the memorial page for

Helen Marie Miller

November 3, 1951 ~ November 15, 2017 (age 66)

Helen Marie Miller, age 66, a longtime resident of Portland, went to be with her Lord on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at IU Health University Hospital, Indianapolis, IN surrounded by relatives and beloved friends.

She was born in Los Angeles, CA on November 03, 1951 to Eileen and Austin Clark. Raised by her mother and step father, Thomas Lee Marsh.  She lived throughout California in her early years. She met, fell in love with and married Charles Edward Tow Jr. in October of, 1968, in Lancaster, CA.  Later in life, she married her surviving spouse William (Nick) Miller of Portland, IN (formerly of Eaton, OH) on the 4th of July, 2012.

Over the years she lived in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Indiana, finally settling in Portland in1991.  Raising her kids, she was funny, creative and fun.  She had a lifelong love of music in a variety of formats especially Country and Western.  She earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Ball State University in 1998.  She graduated from the Portland Police Citizens’ Academy in 2007 And was an active member of its Alumni Association. 

Working at a variety of jobs throughout the Portland area, she found herself as an employee of Community and Family Services as a Family Services Support Specialist for the Head Start program from which she retired in 2011.  Adopting Portland as if it was one of her kids, she joined the,Jayland ARC in 1991 and served as its last president until its dissolution in 2016, a period of 25 years.   One of her many accomplishments, along with Chief Nathan Springer, was the creation of the annual “Building Bridges” event.  Held each year just before Halloween, it brings together developmentally disabled individuals and families, their service providers and the law enforcement, fire and EMS communities throughout the county.

Additionally, she served in various capacities in a variety of organizations throughout Portland and Jay county.  Besides the Presidency of the Jayland ARC,  she was actively involved in the Portland Evening Optimists Club (Outstanding Club Member for 2014-15 year), as Chairman of the Senior Christmas Baskets and Club Scrapbook committees and most recently, District Chair for the Optimist International Essay Writing Contest for 2017-18.  She was also Past President of the CFS Head Start policy board and participated as a Portland HUD housing authority board member.  Also as an early member of the Jay County Drug Prevention Coalition, she had recently renewed her participation in that organization.  She also served as a CASA representative for Preble County, OH for several years after her retirement.  Besides the groups above, she held dual membership in the Trinity UMC church of Portland and the West Elkton UMC church in West Elkton, OH, as well as being a member of American Legion 211 Auxiliary of Portland.

She will be sorely missed by her husband Nick, former husband Chuck Tow of Duncan, OK, a brother Thomas Lee Marsh (wife Kerri) of Florissant, MO and a sister Deborah Colleen Wutz (husband Jim) of Lawton, OK.  two daughters, Jo Anne Payne (partner Keith Watters) and Cynthia Clark; two sons (Charles Edward (Charlie) Tow III (wife Rebecca) and Richard (Ricky) Lee Tow (wife Ashley) all of Portland and 12 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren as well as long time, beloved friends and associates.  She was preceded in death by her oldest daughter, Jill Lynette Tow, younger sister Norreen Joan Coats and her parents.

Visitation will be held on Monday from 11 am. to 1 pm. at the Williamson and Spencer Funeral Home in Portland. The Celebration of Life service to follow at 1 PM with Pastor Sandi Apgar presiding over the service.  Friends, associates and family members are invited to share their experiences with Helen near the conclusion of the formal service.

Memorials may be made to Jay-Randolph Developmental Services, Inc. (JRDS) at 901 E. Water Street Portland, IN 47371.

 Service Information

November 20, 2017

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Williamson, Spencer and Penrod Funeral Homes - Portland Chapel
208 N. Commerce
Portland, IN 47371

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