Mary's Story

CASTINE - Mary Jane Chase Miller, died Feb. 26, 2014, in Bangor. She was born March 13, 1923, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the daughter of Howard Emerson Chase and Mary Grace (Kearns) Chase.

Mary Jane grew up in Chevy Chase, Md., and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1940 as a member of the National Honor Society. After high school, she attended the University of Maryland in College Park and graduated in 1943 with a B.A. in Sociology. At U of M, Mary Jane was a class officer, a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta Academic Honor Society, and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Following her graduation from college, Mary Jane volunteered for enlistment in the U.S. Navy. She then attended the Navy Midshipman's School at Smith College, Mass., as well as the Communications School at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. During World War II, she was commissioned as an Ensign and assigned to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations in Washington, DC. As a Navy WAVE, Mary Jane worked in the Navy's secret code rooms, using her training and expertise in sensitive communications to route convoys of ships through the dangerous waters of the North Atlantic. She was promoted to Lt. jg in 1945 and then commissioned as Lt. jg in the Naval Reserve following her active duty service in World War II.

On Nov. 2, 1946, Mary Jane married her college classmate, 1st Lt. Edward A. Miller, U.S. Army, when he returned from active duty in the southwest Pacific. Mary Jane was very proud of her Naval service and her Maine Veteran's license plate (MJCM). She was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal at a special ceremony in Castine, on Nov. 22, 2003. The medals were presented to Mary Jane by Capt. Chris Kopang, USN, Commander of the Navy ROTC program at the Maine Maritime Academy. The ceremony was attended by many friends and family members, including all five of her children, their spouses, and grandchildren.

Mary Jane is survived by her husband, Edward A. Miller, to whom she was married for 67 years, as well as her five children, Edward A. Miller Jr. and his wife, Sarah, of Montpelier, Vt., Elizabeth Ann Miller and her husband, the Rev. Joseph Schulte, of Evansville, Ind., Marion M. Fisher and her husband, Walton Low, of Las Cruces, N.M., Jane M. Saltsman, of Milford, N.H., and John Stuart Miller and his wife, Suzanne, of Castine. Mary Jane is also survived by her five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She was very proud of her children, and justly so.

Mary Jane loved Castine, where she purchased a home with her husband in 1962. For many years, she was an active member of the Castine Golf Club as a golfer, tennis player, and member of the Board of Governors. She was also a member of the Castine Garden Club, the Women's Club, and the Castine Yacht Club.

Mary Jane loved dogs and cats, birds and gardening.

A celebration of her life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at Trinitarian Congregational Church, Castine, with the Rev. Tim Hall officiating. A private burial will take place at the Castine Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Mary Jane's name to a local humane society would be appreciated. A service of Brookings-Smith, Bangor.
Published in Bangor Daily News
Funeral service events

Share this story with a friend: