Karen S (Strickland) Miller

November 24, 1941 ~ September 18, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old


Karen S. (Strickland) Miller, 81, of Newport, Pa., returned to God her Maker on
Monday, Sept. 18, finally free from the weight of exhaustion and torment that physical
decline brought in recent years. By God’s Grace, Karen was beautifully peaceful through
death, achieving that comfort and peace not afforded in recent years.
Karen was born on Fifth Street in Newport, the eldest child of Elwood T. and Edna F.
(Rudy) Strickland. A few years later, a sister, Chylene (Wright) was added to the family,
and “Chene” became Karen’s “go-to” and “be-with” best friend throughout all her days.
Karen graduated from Newport High School in 1959 and soon had her first child. Then, in
1962, Newport businessman and town crier David M. Myers announced the coming birth
of “An oops baby,” Kory, to Elwood and Edna, and Karen suddenly had a baby brother 21
years her youth. Karen’s “Strickland” clan was known as affable, kind, ordinary folk with
an extraordinary ability to laugh at themselves and to not take life too seriously. In many
ways, Karen led the laugh patrol all these years.
Growing up, Karen loved music (records and piano/organ playing). She always had a
flare for colors and coordinating them, whether in clothing, jewelry, or in later years by
the hundreds of gel-pen art pieces she colored. Karen had a quick and often irreverent
wit, and she didn’t care much if the pious among her would take offense, saying “Well, it’s
true,” and then she’d laugh. Her love of sunshine, swimming and the beach forged a
trajectory of beach enjoyment for her kids. She loved being part of beach vacations with
loads of family in a big house.
Over the years, Karen loved to play cards and table games, having a season of hosting
many. She enjoyed “rides for ice cream,” was an excellent cook, and an addicted shopper.
Karen loved giving gifts and could have worked security for Fort Knox given her tactical
use of Scotch Tape. Broadway shows and concerts were routine enjoyments. Karen also
had a season riding motorcycle, and she was very proficient at swinging, in particular, an
“old wooden spoon” as well as The First National Bank yardstick.
Karen modeled for her children how not to hold a grudge: she would not let anyone
push her around, but she was not a retribution-seeker, saying, “Well, I can’t be like that.”
She took pride in saying, “I am so glad my kids never fight” (once teen years came, that is
). Karen’s eyes frequently would well with tears, often because her empathy ran deep,
feeling your pain, or because she was caught unawares by a moment of unexpected joy, or
when another of life’s bitter pills had come her way. Karen taught her children that there
is no need to apologize for tears because they give testimony to things within.
Employed as a bank teller and bookkeeper for four decades at the former First
National Bank of Newport, and The Juniata Valley National Bank, Millerstown, Karen often
fondly recalled the joy of working for Lenus Haines (FNB) and Jim Witmer (JVNB). Karen
also worked for a time as a secretary at Carson Long Military Institute. She and former
husband Donald “Pete” Howell owned and operated the Montgomery Ward Store in
In addition to her parents, Karen was pre-deceased by husband Troy Miller who gave
her consistency in love and care, and by former husband Pete Howell. Karen is survived
by her children, Troy Howell of Marysville, Pamela Beam (Daryl) of Newport, and Kurt
Howell (Gen), of Millerstown, as well as by step-sons Brent Miller and Derek Miller. Karen
enveloped herself with family photos in her home, reflecting her pride in having 15
Grandchildren and 22 Great-Grandchildren. One of Karen’s first questions at a birth was,
“Well who does (s)he look like?!” Karen also is survived by beloved sister Chylene Wright

of Newport, by her brother, Kory Strickland, Carlisle, as well as her adored nieces and
dear cat, Pumpkin.
A Celebration of Karen’s life will be held at 12 Noon, Monday, September 25, at the
Hope Eternal United Methodist Church, East Shortcut and Burd Roads, Newport.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to Noon. A luncheon reception will follow. A private
interment service is planned for the family in which Karen and her late-husband’s
(Troy’s) remains will be laid to rest, together, in Newport Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, life celebration donations may be made to the Perry County Animal
Rescue Shelter, 379 Sugar Run Road, Millerstown, PA 17062.

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September 25, 2023

11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Hope Eternal United Methodist Church
2 Burd Road
Newport, PA 17074

Celebration of Life
September 25, 2023

12:00 PM
Hope Eternal United Methodist Church
2 Burd Road
Newport, PA 17074


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