We Tell the Story!

JHSFC's Founders and Builders Series 
As part of our 40th Anniversary year-long celebration, we are sharing one-minute interviews with the Jewish Historical Society's Founders and Builders. Learn about from where we came and the importance of history then and now. In the first of this series,

CHERRI SHERMAN, one of JHSFC Founders, talks about the importance of a historical society in an interview that will be preserved in JHSFC's Oral History collection. The exhibit she refers to is the Pacific Street exhibit, a collection of photographs, paintings, and Oral History narratives documenting the Pacific Street neighborhood from 1654 - 1986. Please Click to view

July 28, 1929 - May 2, 2023

On May 2, 2023, the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County lost a dear friend. Vivian was our first archivist and, in fact, the archives are named after Vivian and her late husband, Irwin, who was a founding member of the society.
Vivian Seena Miller of Newtown, Connecticut, died Tuesday, May 2, in Danbury. Her brother, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were with her through her short illness.

She was born on July 28, 1929, in Brooklyn, New York, to Harold and Cecilia Berger. Vivian most recently also lived in Orange, for three years. She and her husband of 71 years, Irwin J. Miller, also deceased, raised their four children in Stamford.

Vivian is survived by a brother Joel Berger of Pennsylvania, sons Arthur Miller (Lauren) Miller of Newtown, and Glenn (Sandra) Miller of Pennsylvania, daughters Laura Lewis of Shelton, and Barbara (Elon) Mileikowsky of Stamford, ten grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband, Vivian was predeceased by her mother and father, a brother Alan Berger, sister Gloria Nachtigall, and son-in-law Frank Lewis.

Vivian graduated from New Utrecht High School in 1946 when she was 16, having skipped two years of school. She entered Brooklyn College, married Irwin at 18, but before graduating, she and Irwin moved to Washington, D.C.

They moved several times including Pittsfield, Mass, New York City and Hicksville, NY. In 1960, Vivian, Irwin, and their young family relocated to Stamford. With the family settled, Vivian spent one summer with her mother-in-law to complete her college degree from Brooklyn College. Later, she earned a six-year certificate, and a Master's degree from Fairfield University.

She became an elementary school teacher and taught at Northeast School and then Springdale Elementary School, in Stamford, from 1964 through 1992. She also was a reading consultant and taught Hebrew School at Temple Beth El in Stamford. VivianFor many years, she was the archivist at the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County.

Vivian loved family and friends, and entertaining. Her homecooked specialties included brisket and cranberry meatballs. She and Irwin loved history, and took their children, and eventually their grandchildren, on historical trips to Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, other Civil War battlefields, and Colonial Williamsburg. Originally a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, she became a devoted New York Mets fan, often staying up late into the night to watch West Coast games. She was wonderful in the garden, growing yellow irises, pachysandra, phlox, and pink cone flowers. Vivian also had a great love of reading. Her favorite author was Nora Roberts. She had many friends, but her longest friendship was with Shirley Harris Shapiro of Florida, whom she met on the first day of college.

Memorial donations may be made to the Jewish Historical Society of Fairfield County or to Maplewood Senior Living HEART Foundation.

Published by the Stamford Advocate.
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We hope you have enjoyed our programs. If you want to hear a particular program again or weren't able to attend, you can find the recordings on our website at www.jhsfc-ct.org