Corfu - Constance Plummer Miller, 93, passed away Sunday (September 9, 2012) at St. Joseph’s Hospital. The daughter of Clayton and Grace Plummer, she was born in Buffalo, August 14, 1919.
Following graduation from William Smith College in Geneva NY with a B.A. in sociology, Mrs. Miller joined the Red Cross and was stationed in India where she spent nine months at Air Force Headquarters. She then moved to China for a second tour of duty where she was responsible for radio publicity and broadcasted two shows daily from Radio Tokyo. She was also stationed in Japan during WWII and was a volunteer plotter for the Army Air Corps Early Warning System, where she tracked and identified all aircraft in the area.
Upon her return to the US Mrs. Miller worked with the USO in Texas, Virginia and Massachusetts prior to returning to Buffalo and earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The State University at Buffalo. Mrs. Miller was employed by the State of New York at Buffalo Psychiatric Center where she held several positions and was the first female non-medical professional to hold the position of Unit Chief. She retired from the Buffalo Psychiatric Center in 1980 but remained very active in the community. Her professional and public service careers showed an extraordinary commitment to those in our community who have been afflicted with mental illness. She helped found the Restoration Society in Buffalo to serve recovering mental health clients.
In 1988 Mrs. Miller was honored to receive the Susan B. Anthony Award from The Interclub Council of Western New York. This prestigious award honors women of distinction who have exemplified the characteristics and spirit of Ms. Anthony which include her undaunted courage and unselfish devotion to many philanthropic purposes and to the cause of equal rights for women.
After Moving to Genesee County in 1981 and discovering that services to the mental health community were limited, she helped to found the Genesee County Mental Health Association. More recently, The Constance E. Miller Award for Commitment to Excellence, was created in her name by the staff at the Mental Health Association in Genesee County and is given annually to an organization or individual for conspicuous service on behalf of people with mental illness.
Mrs. Miller served by appointment of the New York State Governor to the Rochester Board of Visitors of the Rochester Psychiatric Center. She served on the Community Services Board of Genesee County, Living Opportunities of Western New York and DePaul Community Services Board.
She receive many other honors for her dedication to the community in the course of her lifetime, including the Hyman Levin Professional Award from the Western New York Mental Health Association in 1974, the Volunteer of the Year Award in 1995 from the New York State Mental Health Association, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Commission of Mental Health in 2002.
Mrs. Miller was very active for many years in The Women’s Overseas Service League (WOSL), the only national veteran’s organization composed of women from all services; civilian, military and government. She served as WOSL’s Historian, First Area Director, Executive Board Member, Carry On Editor and the Buffalo Unit’s President
An avid gardener, she enjoyed tending her extensive vegetable gardens at her summer home in Cohocton, New York. The fruits of her labor were appreciated by many, as she also enjoyed preserving the bounties of the harvest by canning.
Mrs. Miller was pre-deceased by her parents Clayton and Grace Plummer and her sister, Lois Plummer, MD. She is survived by her son Douglas (Robin) Miller of Corfu, grandson Darren Miller of Rochester and granddaughter Andre’ Miller of Corfu.
Friends may call Wednesday 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at the C. B. Beach & Son Mortuary, Inc. 4-6 Main Street, Corfu. Funeral services will follow at 8 p.m. Flowers gratefully declined. Memorials may be made to The Genesee County Mental Health Association.