OBITUARY: Patricia Ann Renfroe Miller

Patricia Ann Renfroe Miller passed away peacefully, one month after her 91st birthday, surrounded by her children on December 9, 2023, in Houston, Texas. Patricia was born on November 9, 1932, in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Lela (Gist) and Grover Cleveland Renfroe. The youngest of four girls, Patricia grew up in the Valley and graduated from Pearsall High School, where she was the drum major of her high school band and was voted “May Queen.”

Patricia graduated from Texas State College for Women (now TWU) in Denton. While she was a student there, she went on a blind date and met “the cutest, funniest man she ever knew,” Kimball Miller, who was a student at Texas A&M. After her graduation, in 1952, Patricia taught school in Austin, Texas, and was a roommate of Ann Richards (who would become the governor of Texas) for a year. Confident and with a spirit of adventure, Patricia accepted a position in San Jose, Costa Rica, to teach English at the Lincoln School. This experience opened up the world for her and expanded her love of the Spanish language and all things Latin. Although separated by distance, Patricia and Kimball corresponded frequently. 

After returning to the United States and settling down, she agreed to marry Kimball who had left the Air Force to become a commercial pilot for Braniff Airways. Patricia and Kimball married in Austin on June 15, 1957. Their honeymoon was a two-week long driving adventure in an MG convertible traveling to Mexico City and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Patricia and Kimball lived the jet set life of an airline pilot. Their three children, Michele, Keesey and Drew, were born while they lived in Irving, Texas. After 17 years, Kimball retired medically from Braniff and he began a new career in commercial real estate in Dallas. Far West Texas beckoned them to begin a completely new life. 

In 1974, the family moved to Ft. Davis, Texas, where Kimball was born and raised. Patricia, once again began teaching junior and high school English and Spanish. While teaching Spanish, Patricia twice took students to Spain for six weeks. She also took a group to Chihuahua, Mexico. For several years, Patricia directed students in many successful UIL one-act play competitions and other literary UIL events for many years. Her favorite compliment to give those in the cast was, “That was great, now do it again.” Along with teaching and being a confirmed bibliophile, Patricia opened El Cerro Bookstore and Antiques. She specialized in Southwestern and Texana books, fine jewelry and antique furniture, especially early Mennonite pieces from Mexico. Patricia was a faithful member of First Presbyterian Church in Fort Davis for almost 50 years.  After selling the bookstore, Patricia retired from teaching in 1994. Her retirement enabled her and Kimball to travel more. Both thoroughly enjoyed having their grandchildren visit them in Fort Davis every summer.  Patricia and Kimball visited both their sons in Germany, many times, and in Italy. Patricia was a proud member and former regent of the Paisano chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT), and a board member of Casa Hogar Orphanage in Ojinaga. For many years Patricia was also a member of the West of the Pecos Cattlewomen. Patricia was an amazing example of perseverance, grace, faith, and love of family. The greatest gift she gave her children was the gift of each other!

Patricia was preceded in death by Kimball, her husband of 64 years; her parents; and her three sisters, Geraldine (Dottie) Martin, Eva Renfroe Thomas (BF), June Renfroe McIntrye (Bill). She is survived by her three children, nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren: daughter, Patricia Michele Miller Browning (Brad) and their children Ben (Amber), Whitney (Michael Repking) and Sarah (Bryan Parker); son Keesey Renfroe Miller (Sandra) and their children Annika, Stella and Faith; son Andrew Kimball Miller (Heidi) and their children Ren, Kate and Ada. Great-grandchildren include Everett Browning, William, Madelyn, Lila and Henry Repking, Oliver, Charlie and Emily Parker. Patricia is also survived by two nieces, two nephews, and numerous “Renfroe” great nieces and nephews and many Miller cousins.

Patricia and Kimball were only able to remain in their home for the last five years with support directed by a former student and friend, Sylvestra Salcido, and her family, Ruby and Lety Salcido, Adel Ramos, and more recently Erica Barragan. Loving medical care was provided by Dr. James Lueke. Many Miller cousins visited her frequently. Being home in Fort Davis provided comfort in a way that nowhere else could have. Much thanks to all of you and the community of Fort Davis!

A memorial service and burial will take place at 1:30 p.m., March 16, 2024, at the First Presbyterian Church in Fort Davis with interment to follow at Hillcrest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Casa Hogar Orphanage in Ojinaga, Mexico (PO Box 305, Alpine, TX 79831), the Fort Davis Higher Education Foundation (PO Box 1339, Fort Davis, Texas 79734), or the Parkinson’s Foundation( 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, Florida 33131).


Related