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January 24, 1941 - December 21, 2023

It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of Patricia Ruth Miller. She will be greatly missed by her husband Barry of 60 years, her children Cory (wife Dorianne) and Brock (wife Jessica), her grandchildren Nathan and Matthew, her sister Joanne and her brother Dave, and the countless piano students and choral singers she taught and directed for over a career of 65 years.

Patricia was born in Estevan, Saskatchewan in 1941 to Cicely and James Auld. She was one of six children born to the couple - Marylyn, Willene, Patricia, David, Joanne, and Gail. Her father was a road construction engineer for Algoma Steel and constantly needed to move his family to various communities around the province of Ontario.

Sadly, James died of a heart attack at the early age of 46. At the time of his death, the family was living in Thessalon, Ontario.

Pat's dream at a very young age was to be able to play the piano. However, to access an accredited teacher meant a long day's drive from Thessalon to Sault Ste. Marie, a task her father was willing to do. When James passed, Cicely decided the family was not going to be broken up and moved to the Alberni Valley where several of her husband's relatives lived.

Coming to Port Alberni, Cicely needed to find a new piano teacher for her daughter. Inquiring, she learned that Gloria Chalmers had a studio in the valley. Chalmers was recognized as being one the finest piano teachers on Vancouver Island. After hearing Pat play, Gloria enrolled her in the Royal Conservatory of Toronto examination system. Constantly earning high marks, she received her Associate Diploma through the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto (A.R.C.T.) in 1960. While attending the Banff School of Fine Arts that same summer, Pat learned she'd won The Frederick Harris Music Company's Scholarship, allowing her to study at the Toronto Conservatory the following year. Returning home from Toronto, Pat continued her piano studies with the Swiss pianist Boris Roubakine, a piano instructor at UBC.

Opening her own studio, Pat began her teaching career giving Alberni Valley youngsters classical piano lessons. One weekend while attending the wedding of a friend, Pat met her future husband Barry Miller, who's dance band was playing the wedding reception.

Barry had recently returned from studying at Westlake College Music in Los Angeles, California. Dating followed and the two married in 1963. Playing the church organ for the First United Church, Pat formed a children's choir and teenage choir. These groups ultimately became community choirs known as the AV Teen Singers and the NewPort Jazz Choir.

Joining Port Alberni's adult choir Timbre, first as accompanist, she was asked to become their conductor, resulting in a 33-year relationship. Pat also became a piano examiner for the Toronto Conservatory, travelling to cities throughout Canada and the United States. Numerous students of Pat have become professional musicians in both countries.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to the incredible staff at West Coast General Hospital. Any donation friends wish to make, please send to the hospital's foundation.

There will be a celebration of Pat Miller's musical legacy held on Saturday, May 11th 2024, at 2:30 p.m. in the ADSS Theatre, 4000 Roger Street in Port Alberni.

Service Details

Celebration of Life
Saturday, May 11, 2024
2:30 PM
ADSS Theatre, 4000 Roger Street in Port Alberni

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