Karen Miller
(1951 – 1969)

Portrait of Karen Miller
By Poland Artist Albert Parella

Tree Limb Kills Poland Girl
(Vindicator – July 5, 1969)

Miss Karen Miller died at 2:18 a.m. while undergoing surgery for internal injuries at the South Side Hospital. She was struck by a large branch on College Lane only several hundred feet from her home. The branch was blown down by high winds and was large enough to block narrow College Lane.

Karen and several companions were rushing home from a fireworks program at the high school stadium nearby when the accident occurred. She was slightly in front of the other girls in pitch black, when the tree fell. The others jumped back and Karen told the others that she was hurt. Her friends lifted the tree limb from her midriff and carried her home.
The accident occurred just as the storm hit and hundreds of people were rushing out of the high school stadium for their cars. Poland Police Chief Al Hewis said Valerie Dearing, 17, of 70 Audubon Lane, Poland; Spence Burton of Hudson, Ohio; Jan Lindberg, 18, of Poland, and Jerry Miskiel and Kelly Smith were with the victim at the time.

Karen’s parents were at neighbors and came home immediately. An ambulance was able to get most of the distance up the lane but was blocked by fallen trees and branches. Miss Miller had to be carried to the ambulance on a mattress. Following four hours of surgery, during which 15 pints of blood were administered, Miss Miller appeared to rally, but her heart stopped. Open heart surgery failed to revive her.

Karen Lynn Miller was born June 25, 1951, in Youngstown, a daughter of John “Cy” Miller and Ella Mae McDonald Miller. She was a graduate of Poland Seminary High School where she was treasurer of the National Honor Society and of the American field Service Chapter, a member of Hi-Y and Inter-Act. She was a member of the Monday Musical Juniors and of Poland Presbyterian Church and its choir. Besides her parents, she leaves a brother, John Miller, Jr., of Chicago and her paternal grandmother, Mrs. E. A. Miller of Youngstown. Her maternal grandmother was the late Mrs. Ernest Travis. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday in the church. Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Cunningham’s Poland Funeral Home.

Editor’s Comments…Karen’s photograph was on the front page of the Saturday issue of the Youngstown Vindicator along with the description of the severe wind storm 38 years ago. From this photograph Al Parella was able to paint her portrait which is now in the possession of Ruth Wilkes. Karen’s tombstone is in the Riverside Cemetery near the south flagpole with the words, “I will go ahead and bring you a light.” In the sanctuary of the Poland Presbyterian Church is a grand piano dedicated in Karen’s memory.