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Maxine Bernice Miller
November 12, 2023
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Maxine Bernice Miller (“MBM”) passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 12, 2023.
Born on January 1,1936, to Ernestine A. (Shelton-Clark) and McGowan Miller, she was celebrated as the first baby born in New Rochelle, New York that year.
Maxine began her public-school education in New Rochelle before moving with her family to Boston, Mass., where she graduated in 1954 from Roxbury Memorial High School for Girls. Spending part of childhood in the foster care system hada profound influence in shaping Maxine's path as a staunch child advocate and care provider.
She worked for many years at Republic Pipe and Supply Corp. in Boston, MA. Known as a hard worker with a generous heart, Maxine moved to Connecticut in 1964, to raise children and seek new opportunities.
She quickly became a familiar face in the Hartford community as a voice for children, active in the local Parent Teacher Organizations (PTO) and other activities supporting public schools. Maxine also served as a volunteer for Head Start- afederally funded program created in the 1960s to meet the emotional, social, health, nutritional and educational needs ofchildren from low-income backgrounds. The home she purchased on Durham Street in 1976 became known as a safe refuge for children of all ages in the neighborhood.
While raising her family, Maxine enrolled in the then-Hartford School of Nursing, graduating in 1973 as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). She served as the health coordinator as well as the director of Saint Monica's Day Care for aperiod before taking the helm as charge nurse at the Hartford Dispensary, one of Connecticut's first outpatient substanceuse and addiction treatment services. The first African American to hold the position, she felt honored to dedicate most ofher nursing career to helping make a difference in the lives of people entering treatment. Maxine, who retired after over 30 years at the Dispensary, was fond of saying, "Everyone who enters treatment is somebody's child."
She is remembered by family, friends and the many whose lives she touched as a good neighbor and devoted caretaker, who embodied the meaning of love. Maxine was predeceased by her brothers, Vernon Clark, Herbert Edwards, Albert and Earl Miller; her sister Cora Brewer and grandson, Tyshawn Jackson.
Maxine is survived by her son, Scott Miller of Hartford, Conn.; two daughters, Renee Ryan of Hartford, Conn. and Wendy Whitt of East Hartford, Conn. Her sister-in-law, Marion Clark of Sudbury, Mass. Four grandsons: Joseph D. Whitt, III, Paris Scott Adams, Justin Whitt and Savon Douglas. Six granddaughters: Shawntay Renee Crooms, Latoya Shakira Fitzgerald, Shamika Nichole Sanchez, Deanna Kimberly Miller and Cheyenne Monet Kinnebrew. Also left to cherish her memory are 23 great grandchildren, several cousins and a host of nieces, nephews, and friends.