Cornelia “Neale” Miller (nee Hodgkins) passed away at the age of 83, on May 9, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Franklin C. Miller, MD; loving mother of Lisa (David) Browdy and Susanna (Milo) Benningfield; cherished grandmother of Joel and Talia Browdy and Jonah and Max Benningfield; dearest sister of James (Anne) and Priscilla Hodgkins. Neale’s determination to make the best of her days helped her cope with Parkinson’s Disease and offered inspiration to her friends and family. As she said: “Stressful times call forth extraordinary responses. Family and good friends become even more essential.” She was also helped in this endeavor by Thess Garcia, who was her devoted caregiver for ten years.
Neale was born in Pittsfield, Mass. and grew up in New Castle, NH. After high school in Portsmouth, NH, she earned her RN from the Mary Hitchcock School of Nursing. She moved to Manhattan, then on to San Francisco where she met her future husband, Frank. After their wedding they moved to Chicago, then Glencoe, Illinois where they raised their two daughters, Lisa and Susanna. She took up horseback riding and moved on to jumping with two thoroughbred horses. After retiring from equine sports, Cornelia earned her BSN from Loyola University in Chicago, and MSN at North Park College in Chicago. She worked as a registered nurse, nurse manager and nursing consultant, specializing in psychiatric nursing. In addition to clinical work, she became nursing manager of a psychiatric hospital. She and Frank lived in Glencoe for 26 years before moving to Chicago in 1988.
After retiring from executive hospital management, Neale took up a deep love of theatre, becoming a sustaining member of Steppenwolf Theatre, Remy Bumppo and The Goodman Theatre. She served as assistant dramaturg for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at Steppenwolf, offering her expertise with psychiatric nursing.
A Graveside Service will be held Sunday, June 6th, 1:00 PM at Memorial Park Cemetery, 9900 Gross Point Rd., Skokie, IL. The service will be livestreamed by Memorial Park Cemetery and information pertaining to livestream access will be updated later.
Memorial contributions made in memory of Neale to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, New York, NY 1004 or www.aclu.org appreciated.
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