Erma Maxine Johnson Foutz Miller | 1920-2000
This blog series explores the lives of Foutz ancestors as revealed in their obituaries. Much of this information was gathered during a March 2011 research trip to Tuscarawas and Harrison counties in Ohio. A scan of the obituary is available at the bottom of this post.
From the Times-Reporter (Dover/New Philadelphia), Monday, July 17, 1980 (front):
Woman who inspired Phila youth facility dead at 79
The woman who provided the inspiration for Park Place Teen Center in Tuscora Park at New Philadelphia died Sunday in her New Philadelphia home.
Erma M. Miller, 79, had said she was walking in the park with her husband, Max, when she came up with the idea of providing a place for the youth of the commnity.
During a ceremony May 23 when she and her husband were recognized as the benefactors for the new facility, she explained that there were places for youth when she and her husband were younger, but there were none available for youth today.
“They had no place to congregate without being shooed away,” she explained.
The Millers had chosen to remain anonymous during the two years after the gift of the youth facility was announced and it was constructed.
Max Miller, the last family member to be involved with Miller Studio Division of Miller Products Inc., a family-owned business, gave full credit to his wife for the commnity center idea.
The project was announced in the fall of 1998. The grand opening was held May 24.
A plaque presented to the couple by Brian Marsh II, spokesman for the student advisory committee of Park Place, reads: “In recognition of their generosity and faith in us, the young people of this community dedicate this beautiful center to Max and Erma Miller of New Philadelphia, May 23, 2000.”
Mrs. Miller was active in the March of Dimes and was a member of Grace Lutheran Church at Dover.
From the obits page, Times-Reporter, July 17, 2000:
Erma M. Miller
Erma M. Miller, 79, of New Philadelphia died Sunday, July 16, 2000 in her home after an extended illness.
Born Oct. 27, 1920, in New Philadelphia, she was a daughter of the late Charles A. and Viola M. Palmer Johnson. She was a 1939 graduate of New Philadelphia High.
She was formerly employed at Miller Studio in New Philadelphia where she had worked as a secretary.
A member of Grace Lutheran Church in Dover, she was also very active in the March of Dimes. She was also the inspiration for the Park Place Teen Center which had recently been dedicated at Tuscora Park.
In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her first husband, Donald D. Foutz.
Surviving are her second husband, Max T. Miller of the residence; three sons, Donn D. (Sarah M.) Foutz of Dover, Robert V. Foutz of Blacksburg, Va., and Frederick C. (Janet L.) Foutz of Dover; two sisters, Virginia Knisely of Sebring and Nellie I. Fitzgerald of Uhrichsville; eight grandchildren, Justin and Ketter Foutz, Whitney and Lauren Foutz, and Colt, Dan, Jake and Sam Foutz, and a great-grandchild, Logan Foutz.
Seven brothers are deceased.
Services will be held Wednesday, July 19, 2000 at 11 a.m. in Grace Lutheran Church at Dover with Rev. Brian K. Nunally officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Burial Park at New Philadelphia. A reception will be held in the Geib Family Center following the committal.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 18, 2000, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home at New Philadelphia. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Tuscarawas County, 201 E. 3rd St., Dover, O. 44622.
See Erma Foutz’s scanned obituary for more.
What else was going on in the world on July 16, 2000? A total lunar eclipse — the second of the year — was visible throughout much of the Pacific and in parts of the western United States. In late June, Elian Gonzalez was returned to Cuba with his father. The final Peanuts comic strip was published in February, following the death of creator Charles Schultz. And by April the NASDAQ had already hit its all-time high, signaling the end (though we wouldn’t know it for awhile) of the late 1900s stock euphoria.