Bess was born in Huntingdon, England to Alfred and Mary Cooper. As a teenager she lived in a time when her country was immersed in World War II. By the early 40’s the “Yanks” started to arrive. In 1944, she met the love of her life, Melvin - at her cousin’s wedding. Melvin was the Best Man and serving in the 8th Airforce at a nearby airfield.
On November 14, 1945 they were married in Meltham Mills, England. They lived in the small village of Bildenson near Melvin’s base until his unit was returned to the U.S. in April of 1946. Bess followed two months later on a ship filled with excited “War Brides.”
Bess and Melvin farmed near Norfolk, Nebraska for six years. During that time they were blessed with three children: Caroline (who joined her Savior three months after her birth) Sally and Jim.
In 1953 the family moved to York, Nebraska. In 1962 they moved to England for two years to be with Bess’ family. In 1964 the family moved back from England to Seward so Sally and Jim could attend Concordia High School and eventually Concordia Teacher’s College.
In their early years in Seward Bess worked at Seward Memorial Hospital followed by decades of service to Concordia University - serving as the University’s “Post Mistress.” She was well known to everyone on campus. Students were excited when they received their letters and packages from Bess along with her kind words of interest and encouragement.
For more than 60 years Bess was a gracious host at 144 East Moffitt. She welcomed University Presidents, Faculty, Staff, countless students and friends to their table for tea where they enjoyed her delicious baking.
When people mention Bess – they always mention her hospitality, smile and genuine interest in them. That carried over to years of dedicated service at St. John with the LWML, Altar Guild, Stephen Ministries, countless visits to shut-ins and so much more.
Bess was preceded in death by their daughter Caroline and husband Melvin. She is survived by: daughter Sally Miller; son Jim Miller, wife Sheryl; granddaughter Katie Fremont, husband Scott - great grandsons Cooper and Teddy; grandson David Miller (Idania Oscari), - great grandchildren – Damon, Jackie and Draven.
Memorials in care of the Elizabeth B. and Melvin G. Miller Endowment Fund at Concordia University Nebraska
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth "Bess" Beatrice Miller, please visit our floral store.