Joseph S. Miller, 57, Generous, Loving Man

Posted: March 13, 1996

Joseph S. Miller, a supervisor at the South Jersey Port Corp. in Camden, died Sunday after collapsing at work. He was 57 and lived in Pennsauken, N.J.

Miller, born and raised in the 2nd and Christian streets neighborhood of South Philadelphia, had worked on the Camden waterfront for the past 13 years. He previously had been employed for 20 years at the Flintkote Corp., where he had been once president of his union local.

``Joe was a hard-working man. He loved his wife and family dearly, and was very close to his children and his two granddaughters,'' said Jim Smith, a longtime friend and Daily News federal court reporter.

``He was knowledgable about sports and politics. He was quick to smile and enjoyed a heaping plate of crabs and a cold pitcher of beer now and then with his friends.

``He was eager to lend a helping hand or some of his tools. He always had a fire burning in the wood stove in his parlor, and plenty of food on the table. Joe made you feel at home and welcome.''

A graduate of St. John Neumann High School, Miller enlisted in the Marine Corps for four years and served as a forward observer for artillery during the Lebanon crisis. The Corps held a high place in Miller's heart and he was especially proud when his oldest son went in.

He was a former marching member of the Satin Slipper Fancy Brigade and an ardent Mummer fan. He and his wife, the former Janice McCarthy, would drive over to the old neighborhood to watch the parade every New Year's Day. He and his wife of 32 years were sweethearts since their early teens growing up in the same neighborhood.

``If anything, the whole crux of his life was his family,'' said Janice Miller. ``His family was what he worked for and lived for. He never passed by you - and we have four children - without touching you. It was just his way of encouragement and love.''

She said, ``He did every job with enthusiasm, from building a deck to doing the dishes.''

She said she and her husband ``did everything as a team, he and I together. We loved to take trips, locally, we didn't go far away, most weekends. We loved each other very much.''

Miller was a member of the Milay Club, his high school alumni association.

Survivors also include a daughter, Janice; three sons, Joseph, Scott and Douglas; two grandchildren, Danielle and Tayler, and a brother, Louis.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church, 4824 Camden Ave., Pennsauken. Burial will be private.

Friends may call between 7 and 9 tonight at the Inglesby and Sons Funeral Home, Cove and Wyndam roads, Pennsauken.

Contributions may be made to the church or to Women of Hope, 1210 Lombard St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19147.

ELDER CLARA F. SPELLMAN Elder Clara Frances Spellman, a retired private duty nurse and minister, died Thursday. She was 71 and lived in Nicetown.

Spellman had been a private duty nurse for 35 years. She graduated from the James Martin Nursing School after graduating from William Penn High School and Dobbins Vocational School. She was an active member of the Greater Mount Zion Pentecostal Church. She attended the Jameson Bible Institute and became an elder and minister of the church.

``She was patient and took everybody in. She helped everybody,'' said Tonjua Lyles, a granddaughter. ``She was always happy, even when she was sick. She was the matriarch. It was a big family for one lady.''

Survivors include a son, Moses Henderson; two daughters, Anna Henderson and Bessie Spellman, 18 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and two brothers, Bertram Henderson Jr. and Thomas Henderson.

Her husband, Clarence Spellman, died in 1957.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at Mount Olive Holy Temple Church, Broad and Jefferson streets, where friends may call one hour before the services. Burial will be in the U.S. National Cemetery in Beverly, N.J.

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