An American Family History

Hester Victoria Miller


Hester Victoria Miller was born on Sunday March 5, 1916 at Sunshine Hospital in San Diego (birth certificate). She was the oldest child of Robert Miller and May Treahy.  She was named for her father’s sister Hester Miller Johnson (Aunt Pitt). 

Although she was a beautiful child, she must have been somewhat wild.  She told one story about constructing an “airplane" out of a wooden box and attempting to fly her little brother, Robert off the roof of the house.  Another story she told was about finding a box of love letters on the beach and trying to blackmail the writer.

She took piano lessons, went to camp on Catalina, and made many life-long friends.

She attended Point Fermin Elementary School, Dana Jr. High, and graduated from San Pedro High School. 

When she was a young woman she had an elegant social life and especially like to go to Catalina and dance to the Big Bands in the Casino.

She was briefly married to Willard D. Morris.  They married on June 29, 1946 and divorced on March 4, 1947.

She became a secretary in the U.S. Army Audit Agency for a General.  She lived in Paris, France, near Munich, Germany and near Washington, D.C. before she retired in 1975 to San Pedro, California.  

For many of these years she lived with  her very close friend Kathleen Hicks.

Hester was always a perfect and elegant hostess.  She enjoyed gourmet cooking and setting a pretty table.  Every year at Thanksgiving she brought a wonderful cranberry Jello dish.  When she invited guests for a “simple dinner." the table was always a work of art with fresh flowers and candles and the dinner was always complex and delicious.

Hester loved to travel and visited almost every place on Earth.  When Hester and Kathleen lived in Europe they would travel around by car and always take their cat Angela with them.  Angela walked on a leash.  Hester loved all cats and after Angela died, she had a special cat named Suzy.

Hester was a very loving aunt.  She wrote postcards and letters to her three nieces even before they could read.  She always remembered their birthdays and Christmas with wonderful, unusual gifts.  One year Hester and “Aunt Kathleen" made Roberta an entire Paris wardrobe for her Chatty Cathy dolls.  It included matching outfits for every occasion; from pill box hats, to fur trimmed coats, to nightgowns, to party dresses and school clothes.

Hester loved to read and was always very interested in social issues.  She was an excellent and frequent correspondent.  Her family and friends always received long, chatty, typed letters from wherever she was.

After she retired, she returned to San Pedro.  She volunteered for the Cabrillo Marine Museum and worked for many environmental causes.  She lived in an apartment with an ocean view at 3533½ Carolina Street. 

She died at age 79 on April 17, 1995 of lung cancer and emphysema.  Her ashes were scattered at sea by her nieces as she wished.

San Diego, California was incorporated in 1850, the same year California became a state. The original Old Town was located several miles inland. In the late 1860s, Alonzo Horton promoted a move to New Town on the bay. New Town grew quickly and became the city center. In 1915, San Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition.



Masquerade for
Children Today
Several Kiddies donned masks and gay Hallowe’en costumes this afternoon for the Hallowe’en party to which Mrs. R. W. Miller had bidden a group of the little friends of her daughter, Hester.
The interior of the Miller home was artistically decorated for the party.  Crepe paper streamers in the Hallowe’en motif of orange and black cats, witches, and Jack o’ Lanterns played a part in creating the Hallowe’en atmosphere.
A collation appropriate for the occasion was served.
On the list of children invited were Dorothy Fay, Dorothy Whitcomb, Doris Hansen, Dorothy Solie, Ruth Birken, Marjorie Morgan, Katherine McCarthy, Bobbie Wagner, Robert Miller, Margaret Gandreau and Hester Miller.


Hester Miller is
Honoree at party
With the assistance of a number of her small friends, little Hester Miller celebrated her sixth birthday anniversary most merrily Saturday at the home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Miller of 664 Twenty-third street.  Hester’s mother entertained with a party in her honor, and it was a very happy one.
There were games and music for the enjoyment of the children and the afternoon sped by as though on wings.  The birthday feast too, was most delightful.  Dainty pink and blue were combined in decoration of the table, which bore a large and elaborately decorated birthday cake, and roses of pink, candles of blue and favor baskets of the two shades accentuated the color motif.
Invited kiddies were Hester Miller, Dorothy Day, Doris Hansen, Margaret Candreau, Emily Green, Jewel Malgren, Charzetta Langenstein, Buddy Park, Wallace Mitchell, Bobbie Wagner, Floyd Hansen and Robert Miller

Delightful Party
To be Given For
Miss Hester Miller
Little Miss Hester Miller will celebrate her sixth birthday tomorrow in the home of her parents, Mr. And Mrs. R. W. Miller, of 664 Twenty-second street.  A number of little friends have been invited to assist the honoree in making the day a jolly one.
A beautiful cake bearing six tiny candles will adorn the center of the table, and the home will be prettily decorated for the occasion.  Refreshments will be served.
The invited guests include Dorish Hansen, Margaret Grandeau, Dorothy Fay, Buddy Park, Bobbie Wagner, Emily Green, Wallace Mitchell, Floyd Hanse, Louise Hansen, Robert Miller, Hester Miller, Jewel Malgren and Charzetta Langenslein.
Burke and Miller Annex

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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