Loving Mother, Sister, Grandmother & friend,who positively influenced rvery life she touched
December 6,1930 - April 14,2022
Joan N. (Dockett) Miller, passed away suddenly, April 14, 2022, at age 91, in Brigham & Women’s Hospital, battling Leukemia cancer. Memorial Service to be held Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:00 am at the Eliot Congregational Church, 120 Walnut Ave, Roxbury Ma. 02119, Repass to follow in Church Hall. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, or to her family church for many years, the Eliot Congregational Church.
Joan was born and raised in Boston and was predeceased by her parents Irma (McCabe) Bright from Little Washington NC and Joshua Dockett (from Troy Alabama). Joan raised her family of three children in the Orchard Park and later The Academy Homes II developments in Roxbury. As a result of experiencing firsthand discrimination in the workforce, poor schools and the inferior housing standards families of color were subjected to in the city, she became a strong advocate for social justice.
Joan firmly believed that “all people should be treated fairly and with respect regardless of their color, or social status”. “Everyone deserves to have access to the same opportunities of good jobs, education, and housing.” As a result, throughout her life, Joan stayed involved in community activities. These involvements included Volunteering for parent boards at schools such as Cooper Community Center, St. Joseph’s PTA (of Roxbury), Greenwood Shalom After School Program. Tenant boards at Orchard Park, Marcus Garvey Garden Apts., and Academy Homes II. Agencies such as Committee for Boston Public Housing, The Ecumenical Center in Roxbury, “464” Women’s service club, and Norfolk House Buying Club. Later she participated in services and addressing issues for senior citizens at Mass Senior Action Council, City Life/Vida Urbana, and AARP.
Joan loved learning and came from a family of educators. The first was her great, great grandmother Mariah Williams who was born a slave in Beaufort North Carolina. Her job was to be a companion to the Slave Master H. McCabe’s young daughter. Grandma Mariah sat beside her mistress at school on a regular basis, the Master did not think slaves could learn, or read and write. While a slave Grandma Mariah would go back to the house at night to teach the other slaves. When slavery ended Grandma Williams opened her own private school to teach other free slaves and children. Later her daughter and granddaughters went to Livingstone college in Salisbury NC and became educators as well.
Joan’s education included the Dearborn Grammar School 1944; Roxbury Memorial High School 1949; Boston School of Business 1963; Northeastern University Business Mngt. 1967; UMass Boston BA Liberal Arts; and at the age of 70, in the spring of June 3, 2000, Joan fulfilled her lifelong dream and completed her final college degree at UMass Boston and earned a Master of Science, in Social Work.
Joan’s early years of employment were at human service agencies such as The Jimmy Fund, Department of Health & Hospitals commissioner’s office, because they offered services in patient care and other concerns. Her final employment years were spent volunteering at tenant associations where could could focus her drive for activism and seniors’ rights such as Mass Senior Action and AARP, the heart of the work that she loved.
Joan leaves to cherish her memory her Brother Dr. Ronald L. and his wife Dr. Kathleen Dockett; daughter Karen Miller and her husband, Lawrence Crosby Sr; her Dr. Jon Miller, and his wife Wanda; Daughter-in-law Verna Miller; grandchildren Ashley, Jasmine, Justin, Juliana, Joshua Miller, Darious Crosby, great grandchildren Symphony and Jordan Miller, Amara Darby, nephew Norman Dockett and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and longtime friends. She was predeceased by her oldest son Richard P. Miller who passed away from liver cancer in 2019.
Joan was an amazing, generous, and compassionate woman who loved everyone. She was a feminist, a lifelong learner, and avid reader. Joan was a role model and mentor to many and an advocate for those more vulnerable. Joan’s love and motherly advise were an integral part of her character and a constant comfort to all even at the very end of her life. Joan will be missed by all who knew, God has called a special light home as her work here is done.
May 21, 2022 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Memorial Service to be held Saturday, May 21, 2022, 11:00am at the Eliot Congregational Church, 120 Walnut Ave, Roxbury Ma. 02119, Repass to follow 12;00pm in Church Hall.