Connie June Hayner Miller, died Monday, June 26, 2023, at the age of 89 (though claimed for the past 60 years that she was 29).
Connie was born on May 20, 1934, in Boone County, West Virginia, to the late Ray and Ruby Woodrum Hayner. Though she grew up as one of six children in a poor coal mining town, Connie had a natural aptitude for school and loved reading, as evidenced by the many crossword puzzles and true crime books she completed over the years.
After high school, she had the opportunity to be a White House intern under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, but instead decided to marry her husband Roy, thereby nixing any chances she had of Monica Lewinsky-ing herself into the annals of American history.
Despite missing her chance for a presidential lovechild, she and Roy had five children of their own: Marsha, Peggy, Barry, Janie and Jennifer. In addition to raising her children (or yelling at them, anyway), Connie spent three decades working in the photo department of her local K-Mart, which meant many years of giving her family camera accessories at Christmas.
Connie eventually welcomed 10 grandchildren. She didn’t want to be called “Granny,” but she didn’t have a choice since she was from West Virginia. (Granny would insist here that we clarify she was “a hillbilly, NOT a redneck.”) Reaching the same height as Granny was a special rite of passage for the grandchildren, and it was pretty damn easy to do since she was only four-and-a-half feet tall.
Connie loved flowers and enjoyed gardening in her free time. She also enjoyed watching Braves games with the volume turned up so high your eardrums would bleed. She often yelled at her family to “SHUT THAT DOOR!” because Connie hated open doors almost as much as she hated driving on the interstate (you would, too, if you had to sit on a stack of phone books to see over the steering wheel).
When she wasn’t nodding at you as if she could hear you (she couldn’t), she loved recounting funny stories, like the time when Barry pulled her tooth at home but accidentally pulled the wrong one.
Connie was predeceased by her husband, Roy; son, Barry Miller; daughter, Peggy Mallet; and grandchildren, Heather and Josh Malkiewicz. She is survived by daughters, Marsha Malkiewicz, Valerie “Janie” Buffington (Billy) and Jennifer Smith (Robbie); grandchildren, Stephanie Davis, Jason Mallet, Brian Mallet, Melissa McCoy, Patrick Waddell, Rebekah Friedman, Lee Buffington and Raymond Buffington; and numerous great-grandchildren and other extended family.
A great poet once said, “Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.” Just kidding, that was from her favorite soap, and she watched that one loud as hell, too. Nevertheless, the sentiment still applies: Granny’s time on this earth went by far too fast, but we’re grateful for the 29 years we had her.