Barbara (Gerhardt) Miller, age 90, of Lee’s Summit, MO, died peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 at the Wilshire Lakewood nursing home. Barbara was born October 17th, 1931, to Andrew and Ovidia Gerhardt in Oak Park, Illinois. She graduated from Niles Township High School in Skokie, Illinois. She earned her college degree and teaching certificate at MacMurray College in 1953 majoring in home economics. After graduating she taught for one year and worked in public relations. Barbara married Larry David Miller of Herrin, Illinois on June 26th, 1954. She loved college life and Larry’s career in higher education provided her the opportunity to continue that pleasure as he served in senior administration leadership positions at various colleges and universities for over 40 years. Six years were spent in Jacksonville, IL, twenty-four years in Fulton, MO, six years in Cookeville, TN, and five years in Hays, KS. The devoted couple raised one daughter and three sons primarily in Fulton, Missouri after moving there in 1958.
While raising her family, Barbara enjoyed hosting large dinner parties and receptions, socializing with her bridge club, and playing the piano. She was active in PTA, bible school, scouts and other volunteer work. On summer weekends the family packed up (usually with her homemade fried chicken picnic lunch) and drove to the Lake of the Ozarks for boating and water-skiing. After attaining a library science certification at William Woods College, Barbara served as a school librarian in Fulton, MO for ten years in keeping with her love of books and life-long appreciation of reading. Barbara was known for her cheerful smile, her devotion to cooking and caring for family, and the deep and lasting friendships she picked up and maintained throughout her life. She was quick witted, loved crossword puzzles and was masterful in dozens of card games picking up new games throughout her life. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Independence, MO for 28 years.
Barbara will be sorely missed by her surviving family: husband Larry Miller; daughter Karen Bailey (Mark); sons David Miller (Maria), Gary Miller (Camie) and Jeff Miller (Joy); grandchildren Madison Bailey, Sean Bailey, Nicholas Bailey, Miles Miller, Benjamin Miller, Charles Miller, Molly Miller and Megan Miller and nieces and nephews from the Gerhardt family. Barbara was preceded in death by her parents, her twin brother Burton Gerhardt, and older brother Robert Gerhardt.
Memorial services will be held at Langsford Funeral Home in Lee’s Summit, Missouri on Saturday, March 26th. Visitation will begin at 2:30pm with the memorial service starting at 3:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Barbara’s most beloved non-profit organizations, P.E.O. International. Barbara was an active member for over 40 years and served as president of the local chapter in Hayes, KS. Visit www.peointernational.org for information on how to donate.