Barbara M. Miller

September 4, 1919 ~ July 21, 2020 (age 100)


No public services will be held for Barbara Stallcup Miller, 100, of North Bend. Private cremation was held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay and private inurnment will be held at the family plot in Yreka, California. She passed away peacefully July 21, 2020 in Coos Bay.

Barbara was born September 4, 1919, at home on a beef cattle ranch in north central Siskiyou County California with a view of Mt. Shasta. Her parents were Joseph Stallcup, and Maybelle Needham Stallcup. Barbara’s mother had been an orphan in San Francisco who graduated from University of California in Berkeley and moved to Siskiyou County to teach at the two-room Big Springs elementary school.

Following her eight years of education at Big Springs, Barbara attended and graduated from Yreka High School in 1937 as Valedictorian.  She moved on to the University of Oregon and finished in 1942 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She was a member of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority, with which she remained active her entire life. From 1941 until 1943, she was the Women’s Editor of the Eugene Daily News.

Returning to Yreka in Siskiyou County, Barbara worked for two years in a law office and then became manager of the Siskiyou County Chamber of Commerce.   A local boy returning from the war convinced her to marry him, and she followed Lee Miller to Cal Poly in 1946 where he took advantage of the GI Bill to become an air conditioning engineer.  His first career opportunity was in Portland, Oregon, and the family (now including two children) moved there in 1950.  The Portland area became her permanent home for the next 63 years.

Two more children were born in Portland, and Barbara worked only part-time while also keeping busy with volunteer activities until her oldest child, Paula, was midway through high school.  The need to help with upcoming college tuition spurred her to full time employment. 

For five years she was the Director of Public Relations and Fund Raising for the Portland Area Council of Girl Scouts.  In 1967 Barbara moved on to the University of Portland as the student publications adviser and an adjunct professor of communications.  She was promoted in 1972 to Director of Public Relations and Public Information and Assistant Professor of Communications. In 1977 she became Director of Development for the University and by 1979 she was Executive Director of Development. She now held the fourth-highest position at the University.

St. Vincent Medical Foundation hired Barbara in 1983 as their Associate Director.  In 1988 she moved to Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation as Director of Planned Giving.  Barbara retired in 1995 from Good Samaritan and began working as a private consultant helping non-profit agencies with board training and fund development.

Barbara was a true ground breaker in the field of Planned Giving, so much so that, in 1992, the Willamette Valley Development Officers established a Barbara Stallcup Miller Award for significant achievements and service throughout a development career.

Barbara has won many other distinguished awards, including the University of Portland’s Rev. Charles Miltner Award in 1977 (for outstanding service to the University), the William Marsh Award from the Public Relations Society of America’s Columbia River Chapter in 1989 (for lifetime achievement in the field of public relations), and the Oregon’s Communicator of the Year Award from Oregon Press Women in 1993.

Barbara contributed her time and talent to many different non-profits in the Portland area, including the First Unitarian Church and Oregon Public Broadcasting.  She was particularly active with the Volunteers of America, serving on the regional Board of Directors beginning in 1972, becoming president in 1980. Barbara was elected to the National Board of Directors in 1984, serving for 12 years.  Throughout her adult life, she was involved with the Association for Women in Communications (originally known as Theta Sigma Phi).

Of course, Barbara loved to read and write.  But she also loved to travel which, after retirement, she could particularly enjoy.  She made numerous trips to the British Isles (where she did a lot of hiking) and to Mexico, two trips to the Soviet Union, and several visits to other parts of Europe.  In her eighties, she was finally able to fulfill her lifelong desire to take tap dancing and even performed in some recitals.  However, she never did learn to ride a bicycle.

After the death of her husband Lee and her second-oldest daughter, she moved to the Bay Area in 2013 to be closer to oldest daughter Paula.  Until her hearing, vision and mobility began to fail, Barbara was a faithful attendee at South Coast UU Fellowship and all the concerts, plays, and music festivals our area had to offer.  Barbara took the first local history class offered through SWOCC at the new history museum and regularly attended lectures and other events there.  She volunteered several years with the Clambake Jazz Festival and was at the grand re-opening of the Egyptian Theatre.

Barbara passed six weeks before what would have been her 101st birthday.  She is survived by her daughters, Paula Bechtold of Coos Bay, and Alison Wallis of Portland; son, Dan Miller of Estacada; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Barbara’s husband, Lee, and daughter Susan Miller preceded her in death.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Volunteers of America Oregon, 3910 SE Stark St., Portland, OR 97214.

Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at


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