She was born in Deland, Florida on March 16, 1933. Her family returned to New York where Karlene attended school in Weedsport and Skaneateles. From a young age, she valued education and the opportunities it offered. She was a member of the Skaneateles High School Class of 1951 and maintained lifelong friendships with her classmates. She graduated in 1955 from Cortland State Teachers’ College with a degree in teaching. At Cortland State, she met her future husband, William (Bill) Miller and they were married in the summer of 1955.
After teaching in the Binghamton area, she and Bill moved back to Skaneateles to raise their three daughters. She taught at Skaneateles Central Schools (SCS) for over 25 years. During her tenure at SCS, she continued her education at Cortland State, earning a master’s degree, and later, a certificate of advanced studies at Syracuse University. Karlene found joy in teaching, and in total spent over 50 years of her life in the classroom teaching students who ranged from 2nd grade to the college level.
Karlene lived a life of purpose and service to others. She loved Skaneateles and spent countless hours volunteering in the community. She served on the Village Historic Preservation Board and for many years on the board of the Skaneateles Historical Society, including fourteen years as president at a time when The Creamery was undergoing growth and development. As a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Skaneateles, Karlene served as a deacon and on the Presbyterian Manor Board, including multiple terms as president. She enjoyed volunteering at the Antique and Classic Boat Show each July and participating with Bill in many chapter events.
Karlene loved to entertain for any and all occasions. Her family and friends were blessed with wonderful events that she planned--summer trips, holiday parties, or get-togethers at the beloved family cottage on Skaneateles Lake. She always had a poem ready for every social occasion which she would recite perfectly from memory. She enjoyed poetry until the end of her life.
Karlene’s curious mind and enthusiasm for life led to a lifetime of travel and adventures to nearly all the U.S. states and many places abroad. She taught herself French and completed a home stay in France after her retirement. She and Bill also moved to Spain where they taught for a year. When she wasn’t traveling, Karlene was planning their next trip; she was always ready to go!
Karlene was predeceased by her beloved husband of 64 years, Bill Miller in 2019, her siblings Bernice Turner, Marilyn Barth, Karl Barth, and brother-in-law Jack Miller.
She is survived by her daughters Janice Miller, Karen Fenner (Holden), and Linda Miller (Robert Lowry); her grandchildren, Hilary Fenner, Kelsey Fenner, Matthew Lowry, Christopher Lowry, and Hannah Lowry; brother-in-law Ralph Miller; sisters-in-law Marylyn Barth and Anna Miller; a niece, nephews, cousins, and treasured friends.
Funeral service will be held on Sunday, October 17th at 1pm, with calling hours before from 11 to 1 at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles. Family ask’s please wear a mask. Private burial will be held in Lake View Cemetery, Skaneateles.
Memorial donations may be made to the Skaneateles Historical Society, 28 Hannum Street or to SAVES, 77 Fennell St. Skaneateles, NY 13152.