Obituary: Juliana Jo Miller

Juliana Jo Miller was born to Julia Swan Sloan and J. Arthur Sloan in Fort Collins on Oct. 28, 1916. Most of her friends called her Jo and she was raised on a cattle ranch about 40 miles northwest of Fort Collins. For eight years, she and her sister, Sylvia (now deceased), were the only students in the Sloan School. In 1930, they were furnished an apartment in Fort Collins so they could attend high school there. They continued with this arrangement until their graduation in 1934.

Jo hired out as a telephone operator where she was working when she contracted polio in 1937. She was sent to St. Joseph Hospital in Denver where she would spend the next eight and a half months recuperating. While still in the hospital she and Lafi Miller, to whom she was engaged, were married on March 15, 1938. They made their home in Fort Collins and in 1939 Lafi enrolled at Colorado A & M, now Colorado State University. Between his sophomore and junior year, their son, John Dennis, was born.

While Lafi was in college, Jo worked as a telephone operator, children’s librarian and a very busy mother and wife. Seven days after graduation in 1943, Lafi entered the Army and served during WWII until July of 1946.

Their daughter, Rene Lee, was born in 1947. In addition to their construction business, Jo was co-owner and co-manager of Miller Manor Dance Studio in Fort Collins where they taught Square Dancing, Round Dancing and Ballroom for thirty five years. They also had classes in Ballet, Jazz and Acrobatic.

Shortly after retiring from the dance business, Jo came down with post-polio syndrome, a debilitating illness that worsens with age.
In spite of her disability, Jo was able to remain fairly active and to enjoy life and her large family of two children, 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

Having been raised in Livermore, where everybody knows everybody, Jo had become the local historian for the area since she was about the eldest long-time resident. Jo and Lafi had a mountain home near Red Feather Lakes, which is just a few miles from where she was raised.

Jo was very active in the Chapel In The Pines at Red Feather and served as chairwoman of the Benevolence Committee for many years. She was also a member of the Red Feather Mountain Gals, Livermore Women’s Club, Fort Collins Pioneer Association, Fort Collins Historical Society, Cache La Poudre Chapter DAR, The Mayflower Society and Larimer County Post-Polio Support Group. Her cremains will be interred in the Memorial Garden of the Chapel In The Pines at Red Feather Lakes.

Memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept.r 27, 2014 at 11:30 a.m. at the Allnutt Drake Chapel in Fort Collins, Colorado. Inurnment at Chapel In The Pines, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado.

Memorial contributions may be made to Chapel In The Pines, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 650 W. Drake Road, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526.

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