Obituary: Barbara Miller

Barbara Miller

Barbara Miller peacefully passed on Aug. 6, 2019, in Laguna Beach, surrounded by her loving nephews, Christopher Miller and Matthew Miller, along with close friends Dixie Jordan, Karen Ellis and Sandra Hartness. Her loyal dog, Luci, was at her side as always.

Barbara entered this world on July 30, 1937, in Marcellus, New York. She graduated with a degree in Physiology from Brockport College and received a fellowship from the University of Arizona’s Department of Mammalogy. Barbara was a longtime resident of Laguna Beach, Palm Desert and Pioneertown. She was a founding partner of The Laguna Gander, where her creative talents were on display. In 2006, she left Palm Desert for the serenity of Pioneertown. She loved talking about the old movie set that became Pioneertown and the westerns that were and are filmed there, and Tom Mix, Lash LaRue and others who she believed were still there in spirit. Pappy and Harriett’s was a favorite hangout and attracted people and performers from all over, even Led Zeppelin and John Lennon. So, it’s no surprise that she bought a property there once owned by a silent screen star. Barbara was a truly multidimensional being, gifted in science and art and enjoyed a rare spiritual and intuitive side. These gifts were reflected in the transformation of her home into a wonder of lighting and a landscape of welcome and serenity. She got on her John Deere and joyfully moved boulders, planted unique desert plants and flowers and artfully placed what she called “toys” and solar lights by each plant. At night, with the stars above, her home came alive with light and became a beacon for Pioneertown. Her playful sense of humor will long be remembered by all those who loved her and there are many. Her love for animals is an inspiration to all. She spoke their language.

Barbara is survived by her two nephews, Chris and Matt, her sister-in-law Patti Miller, and predeceased by her mother and father, Mabel and Leo Miller, her sister Lee Miller, and brother Leo P. Miller. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested gifts to Animal Samaritans (

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