Stillwater News Press


October 19, 2013

Betty Ray (Cochran) Miller

Betty Ray (Cochran) Miller passed away on Oct. 16, 2013, at Stillwater Medical Center surrounded by her family. Services have been entrusted to the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home and a service celebrating her well-lived life will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at the First Christian Church in Stillwater. Public visitation will be held on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with family greeting friends at the funeral home from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Betty was born Sept. 4, 1935, to Ray and Mary Cochran in Pauls Valley, where she grew up and then graduated from Pauls Valley High School in 1953. Following high school, Betty attended Oklahoma A&M, returning to Pauls Valley to work in the welfare office. She married the love of her life and her best friend Merl Miller on June 10, 1955.  Betty and Merl moved to Stillwater where she worked for the Child Welfare Office while Merl attended school. On Oct. 26, 1957, the couple welcomed a daughter, Ann Marie, to the family.  

They moved to Ithica, N.Y., where Betty worked at Cornell University and Merl went to school. Eventually the family relocated to Peoria, Ill., and a second daughter, Patricia Lynn, was born on July 2, 1959. Betty and Merl’s third daughter, Susan Gay, was born Dec. 7, 1960, while Betty was visiting family in Pauls Valley.  The family lived a short time in Wisconsin but continued to live in Illinois before relocating to Anadarko, where Betty again went to work in the welfare office.   

After a few years, Betty transferred to Stillwater where Andrew Wapskineh joined the family. While in Stillwater, Betty worked in several offices at OSU, including the Board of Regents, the Student Union director’s office and the OSU Foundation. Her final job in Stillwater was with Aufleger Garrett Developers. A job opportunity took the family to the University of Maryland in 1983. While there, Betty went to work for Long & Foster Realtors, from which she retired in 1995. Merl retired from the university in 1996 and they moved back to Stillwater for good.

Although their careers took the Miller’s out of Oklahoma many times, they considered it to be home. Betty was a longtime member of the First Christian Church-Stillwater. She was a generous, caring and hard-working woman who loved to dance and watch musicals. She enjoyed doing candle wicking and sewing for her family and her daughter’s doll collection. She loved to shop, but rarely ever bought anything for herself. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother and a selfless friend.

Betty is survived by her husband, Merl Miller, of the home; daughters, Patricia Nance, Susan Miller and husband, Patrick McCruden, and son in law, Barry Weathers; grandchildren, Chris Weathers, Garrett Nance, Marie McCruden, Theresa McCruden; great grandson, Mason Nance; brother, Fred Cochran; sisters, Evelyn Riedt and husband, Harvest, and Janice Dulin and husband, Joe.

She was preceded in death by her parents Ray and Mary Cochran; sister, Judy Cochran; brothers, Howard and James Cochran; foster son, Andrew Wapskineh; and daughter Ann Weathers.

A special thank you to the Stillwater Medical Center staff for the care, attention and support the family received during Betty’s illness.

Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at

In lieu of flower, memorial can be made to the First Christian Church, OSU Foundation or the 4-H Foundation all in the care of Palmer Marler Funeral Home, 5106 N. Washington, Stillwater, OK, 74075.

Condolences may be sent to the family via an online guestbook at


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