Dot Zella Miller’s life on earth came to completion on Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at 90 years, 9 months and 25 days in Schulenburg, Texas, where she had lived since 2005 to be near her daughter. Dot was born at home on June 23, 1921, in Palito Blanco, Jim Wells County, Texas to James Radford and Helen Ethel Thigpen Foster. She married Ernest Lee Miller on September 22, 1947, in the Park Place Baptist Church Parsonage, Hot Springs, Arkansas. Dot and E.L. lived in Mc Allen, Texas and also continued ranching on a family ranch in Blanco County, Texas, where their daughter, Ethel Lemae, was born in 1950. In 1954 they moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas, but still maintained their Blanco ranch. A fire in 1961 destroyed their Arkansas home and the family returned full time to live in Blanco.
Dot was an admired and beloved teacher in the Blanco Public Schools. Of all her life’s endeavors, teaching was her passion and true calling. Her career in this field covered the gamut from the one-room rural deep South Texas school to foreign mission fields after her retirement. In addition to teaching and overseeing the ranch, she was actively involved in church, community and state affairs. She was a member of the Blanco United Methodist Church and participated in a lifetime of service to her church and community and was passionate about charities around the world. She served on church, school, and community hospital boards. Other positions held were President of the Blanco chapter of the Texas Farm Bureau; President of Delta Kappa Gamma, a teacher’s honor society; and a founding board member of the Gem of the Hills Senior Citizen’s Center in Blanco.
Dot was one of eight women featured in Rhonda Lashley Lopez’s photo-documentary, Don’t Make Me Go to Town: Ranchwomen of the Texas Hill Country. She contributed information and artifacts about her grandfather, James Melville Foster, for The Dead Men Wore Boots: An Account of the 32nd Texas Volunteer Calvary, C.S.A. – 1862-1862 by Carl L. Duaine.
Dot was preceded in death by her parents, James and Ethel Foster; her beloved husband, E.L. Miller; four brothers: Dan R. Foster, James T. Foster, Jesse Foster and David L. Foster; and, two sisters: Doris Foster and Dot’s twin, Dimple Zara Foster. She is survived by her daughter, Pastor Lemae Higgs of Schulenburg, Texas; grandson, Adriaan Higgs, San Jose, California; granddaughters, Ursula Higgs, Blanco, Texas and Sirkka Higgs, Schulenburg, Texas; two sisters-in-law, Rose Foster, San Antonio, Texas and Elaine Foster, Richland Springs, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Saturday, April 28, 2012, 11:00 a.m. at the Blanco United Methodist Church with The Reverend Ken Greene, Senior Pastor, officiating. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to SIM USA, P.O. Box 7900, Charlotte, NC Reference number 28241 for Dr. Murray Greenwood, medical-missionary to Ecuador; Blanco United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 339, Blanco, TX 78606; or a charity of your choice.