Carmen G. Miller
Carmen Gloria (Sundwick) Miller, 97, of Traverse City, passed away peacefully on Sept. 25, 2019 at Traverse Manor.
Carmen was born on Dec. 17, 1921 in Hancock to the late Anders Wilhelm and Klara Wilhelmina (Kjellgren) Sundwick. She was also preceded in death by her seven brothers and sisters.
On July 23, 1949 she married Robert M. Miller in Detroit, and they had three children. Together they shared 63 years of marriage before his death in 2012.
Carmen was a 1939 graduate of Escanaba High School and 1943 graduate of Michigan State Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University).
During World War II she worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in Ypsilanti in the summers between college years.
Growing up in a musical family, Carmen learned to play the violin, initially taught by her father on an instrument that he made for her. Throughout her youth and beyond, she regularly performed in churches, music clubs and for social events. She pursued her teaching degree in music and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Carmen was a string, woodwind and orchestral music educator for the Dearborn School District from 1943 to 1950. Carmen also regularly played violin in community orchestras throughout her life, including the Detroit Women's Symphony, Oak Park Symphony and Southfield Symphony. She also taught violin students privately. Late in life, even at age 96, Carmen would get out her violin to play, often motivated by her grandchildren, both violinists, who loved performing for her.
Carmen was inspired by beauty throughout her life. Her love of wildflowers and nature, gardens, sewing, cooking and entertaining, travel and especially her deep love of music were a constant source of inspiration for her. Carmen was deeply committed to her family and loved being a homemaker.
Carmen always looked for ways to ease the burden of others. She especially volunteered for organizations that advocated for those with special needs, Children's Orthogenic School, Detroit, MAEDC, Detroit, and New Horizons Rehabilitation Services, Madison Heights. In Traverse City she donated her time to the Food Pantry and Community Lunch programs of Grace Episcopal Church, Brickways, formerly Grand Traverse Area Community Living Center for disabled persons, and the Episcopalian Peace Fellowship.
Carmen is survived by her son, Charles Miller, of Traverse City; daughter, Charlotte Miller, of Lansing; daughter, Martha (Bradley) Miller Cornell, of Naples, Florida; grandson, Nathaniel, of Ann Arbor; and granddaughter, Caroline Cornell. She was beloved aunt of 13 nieces and nephews.
A memorial service honoring Carmen will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, at 11 a.m., at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Grace Episcopal Church, 341 Washington St., Traverse City, MI 49684; or Brickways, 935 Barlow St., Traverse City, MI 49686.
Please visit to share your thoughts and memories.
Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services is caring for Carmen and her family.
Published on October 20, 2019


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