Barbara Joan Kerr Miller

March 7, 1953January 4, 2013

Miller, Barbara “Joan” (nee Kerr)

Barbara “Joan” Miller (nee Kerr) passed peacefully on Friday, January 4, 2013, in Calgary, AB surrounded by her family after a courageous journey with stomach cancer. Joan was born on March 7, 1953 in Watrous, SK. She was predeceased by her grandparents William (Bill) Irvine and Isabel (Woodland) Irvine and Homer and Elizabeth (Wilson) Kerr as well as her father Edward John Kerr in 1983. Joan is survived by her mother Elizabeth (Betty) I Kerr (Irvine) of Calgary; her best friend and loving husband of 37 years, Reg W Miller; son Kevin Miller (Dorlisa Lam) of Calgary; daughter Heather Miller of Calgary; siblings, William (Bill) Kerr (Pam and daughter Yasmine) of Calgary, Ellen (Kerr) McClughan (Neil and son Scott) of Regina; mother-in-law Yvonne E. Miller (nee Aumack) of Trail, BC; brother-in-law Gordon Miller (Kathy Hudspith and daughters Jessica and Kariann) of Victoria, BC; brother-in-law Hugh Miller (Gail Gabana and children Andrea, Nicholas, and Joseph) of Trail, BC, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. Joan grew up on the PFRA pasture at Hatfield near Nokomis, SK. The eldest of 3 children, Joan started school in a one room school in Hatfield and then went on to finish Grade 12 in Nokomis. Childhood activities included Girl Guides, swimming lessons, helping with “round up” and the many visits from cousins. Joan continued her education in postsecondary in Saskatoon obtaining her Diploma in Biological Sciences. Joan briefly worked at SaskTel for a summer position where she met soul-mate. She married Reg in the Nokomis United Church on July 5, 1975 and they lived in Calgary where their 2 children, Kevin and Heather were born. She worked at the University of Calgary for 34 years as Technologist and Lab Manager - Medical Research labs, retiring in the fall of 2009. Joan was a genetic genealogist who used DNA technology and social media to complement traditional genealogy research. This included Y-DNA project administrator and coordinator for the Alberta Family Histories Society (AFHS) DNA Special Interest Group. She was a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the International Society of Genetic Genealogists and various other genealogy societies. Joan wrote a regular column for the Alberta Family History Society and served on the Public Relations committee. She also created the Luxegen Genealogy Blog which was named in Family Tree Magazine’s Top 40 Blogs of 2011. She served as an Official Blogger for Rootstech 2011. Joan inherited the genealogy gene from her maternal grandmother Isabel Irvine who was a family historian and great story teller. Her grandfather Bill Irvine kept a diary for 60 years! It was inevitable that one of the grandchildren would be interested in pursuing their genealogy roots. Joan also was very active with volunteering in Toastmaster International where she worked her way through the various levels receiving her Distinguished Toastmaster Designation in January 2012. Joan loved the diversity of cultures and enriched her life through travels to many countries. Joan led an active life filled with activities such as soccer, skiing, qigong and hiking. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched. The family would like to greatly thank the staff at Tom Baker Cancer Centre. They would also like to acknowledge the incredible care and compassion they showed upon her passing. Finally they would like to thank Dr. Easaw, Dr. Wiens and Colleen Cathbert for all their care and efforts in this journey. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kiva - Genealogist for Families Project - empower people around the world at A Celebration of Life Service for Joan will be held on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Thornhill Baptist Church, 128 Tache Avenue N.W., Calgary, AB. Expressions of sympathy may be forwarded to the family via the website FOSTER'S GARDEN CHAPEL FUNERAL HOME AND CREMATORIUM Telephone: 403-297-0888 Honoured Provider of Dignity Memorial


  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, January 12, 2013

Barbara Joan Kerr Miller

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Geetha Nicodemus

January 22, 2013

My deepest sympathies to the Joan's family - though I have not met her, I have heard of her good work from her toastmaster friends who miss her. May her soul Rest in Peace

Dale Smith

January 18, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with Joan's family at this difficult time.
Dale and Joyce Smith and Families

Lynn Johnston

January 18, 2013

My deepest sympathy to all of the family at this difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Best wishes from the Berry family.

January 12, 2013

To Reg and family. I am so sorry to hear of Joan's passing. I always remember meeting her at Toastmasters events with a beautiful, friendly smile. Her contributions to Toastmasters have been greatly appreciated. May your fond and happy times help you through this very sad time.
Hugs, Peggy and Bob Gibennus

January 12, 2013

We are richer for having known Joan as a dear friend. During the 25 years of our friendship with Joan and Reg we have enjoyed our many common adventures in our lives. She was a very vibrant, take charge kind of woman and she lived life to the fullest and we were always glad to hear about their many adventures.
We are very sorry that she had to leave her family too soon, but we hope you will find peace in the fact that she had a very fulfilling life.
We send you strength and warmth in your time of need.

Henri & Lynn Kooperberg and family

January 11, 2013

Dear Betty and Family
We send our deepest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time
David Kerr
Lorene Keer
Waterford Ontario

January 11, 2013

Reg and family
We are so sorry to hear of your loss of Joan. Our sympathies to you all.
Belva & Garry Moodie

Jane Edwards

January 10, 2013

Reg, Kevin and Heather,
I worked with Joan when we were both pregnant with our daughters (bellies bumping at the lab bench). Her intelligence, calm, quiet aura and lively curiosity in so many areas made the lab a fun place to work.

Joan's family was clearly the centre of her world but with all her broad-reaching interests, she will be missed by so many. My condolences to you all.

Laurel Kane Holte

January 10, 2013

My deepest sympathy to Betty and family, my heart and prayers go out to you and all Joan's family.

Doug & Lee Smith

January 10, 2013

Dear Reg & Family;
We were sad to hear of Joan's passing.
Sending you our heartfelt sympathy.
Keeping you all in our prayers at this difficult time. Remembering Joan and her beautiful smile.
Doug & Lee Smith
North Battleford, Sk;