Alice Charlotte Miller
Alice Charlotte Miller, 98
Alice Charlotte Barker Miller died May 10, 2017. She was 98 years old. She was the heart and anchor of our family, and we will miss her dearly.
Charlotte Barker was born July 2, 1918, in Ghent, Ohio, the third daughter of Alba Barker and Elizabeth Fisk (Freeman) Barker. She was nine months old when her father died, a victim of the worldwide influenza epidemic. Her mother, Elizabeth Barker, married Walter Grosh in April 1920, and had two sons to complete the family of five. Elizabeth and Walter Grosh lived in a home in Ghent built in 1832 as a woolen mill, the oldest known mill still standing in Ohio.
Charlotte graduated from South High School and attended Akron University, where she met Andrew Miller Jr. when she was 19 years old. After four years of dating, they married on Dec. 4, 1941, a cold, blustery Thursday that didn’t keep friends and family from filling Ghent Christian Church with warmth and celebration. For a honeymoon, Charlotte and Andy borrowed a car and took a driving tour to Cleveland and northwest Ohio, returning on Dec. 7, the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, to live for a time at Andrew Miller Sr.’s home on Willow Street in Akron.
Over the course of World War II, Charlotte moved with her husband to various places east of Ohio while starting her family. Charlotte’s first son, David, was born in 1942 in Hartford, Conn., while Andy was training to be an air-traffic controller. Back in Akron, a second son, Andrew James, was born in 1945 while Andy was in basic training in Texas, after which he was shipped overseas to serve in Uxbridge, England, as a control tower operator. Charlotte sometimes talked of the war years as being a difficult but necessary time of sacrifice for all families to help support the war effort.
A year after Andy’s honorable discharge from the Army in June 1946, he and Charlotte bought and moved into a home on Crystal Lake Road, where they stayed for the rest of their lives. Charlotte’s first and only daughter, Carol Elizabeth, was born in 1950, followed by sons Paul in 1952 and Dennis in 1954. The home, built in 1825 as a mill house, originally was located on Granger Road near Yellow Creek, then moved in 1910 several miles to where it now stands on Crystal Lake using horses and logs as rollers.
Over the decades, Andy renovated the entire house inside and out while Charlotte managed to work around the dust and chaos, filling the home with patience, love, and care.
Charlotte’s talent with her cast-iron Deen loom was well known throughout the community. From the time she was a teenager until she was in her 90s, she wove countless rugs, sold some, and gave many more away. The loom originally was used by her grandparents, Henry Chester and Mary Harriet Freeman, when they lived at the woolen mill in Ghent. After Alba Barker died, Charlotte lived with her grandparents until she went to grade school, later staying with them on holidays and during the summer, learning and honing her weaving artistry. The loom was moved to the Crystal Lake home in the late 1940s, where it continued to be put to good use. Many of Charlotte’s rugs still exist with family members and in homes throughout the region.
Charlotte, who was a devout, lifelong member of Ghent Christian Church, enjoyed traveling and visiting family and friends from Florida to the Colorado Rockies; from Chicago to Cincinnati to Hannibal, Missouri; from Maine to Michigan to the natural wonders of Kentucky and Virginia. A memorable trip to Europe took place in 1973, the same year Andy retired from the FAA. In 2014, Charlotte was recognized as an active, 40-year member of the travel-oriented Bath Good Time Club at a celebration in Montrose.
Charlotte was gentle in her love, warm in her generosity, and openhearted to all her family and many friends who loved her completely. Her home on Crystal Lake was the gathering place for us all and the foundation of our lives, whether we were celebrating holidays or just visiting to watch birds at the feeders in the back yard.
She was preceded in death by Andy, her husband of 65 years, who died March 15, 2007; parents Elizabeth and Walter Grosh; and sisters Mary Ruth Haynes and Lois Fulton. Survivors include brothers Ronald LeRoy Grosh and (Walter) Henry Grosh; sons David (Roni), Jim (Joy), Paul (Annie), and Dennis; daughter Carol Morison (Kyle); and 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, with another great-grandchild due in June.
Friends may call from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at Ghent Christian Church, 4200 Granger Road. A celebration and remembrance of Charlotte’s life follows at 4 p.m. with Reverend Jae Rhee officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ghent Christian Church, 4200 Granger Road, Bath Township OH, 44333; NationalHospiceFoundation.org; or Bath Fire Department, 3864 W. Bath Rd, Akron OH 44333.
For those who may not be able to attend, online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at denbowfh.com.
Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory is handling the arrangements.