Mills & Mills Funeral Home & Memorial Park

5725 Littlerock Road SW, Tumwater, WA


Santa Marie Miller

November 7, 1920September 5, 2020

Santa Marie (Arello) Miller passed away peacefully Saturday, September 5, 2020 with her two children by her side just two months shy of her 100th birthday. She was born in Worcester, Massachusetts to Pauline (Valva) Arello Ferro and Sebastian Arello on November 7, 1920. The daughter of Sicilian immigrants, she grew up near Shrewsbury Street in the then Italian section of Worcester with her six sisters and two brothers. She was very proud of her Sicilian heritage and the fact that she was from Worcester.

On July 19, 1942, Santa met the love of her life, Ervin Miller, on a blind date at Vernon Hill Park in Worcester. At that time, Ervin was serving in the US Army and on leave from Fort Devens. They fell in love and were married at Camp Pickett, Virginia, on March 10, 1943, prior to Ervin leaving for Europe to fight in WWII. When the war ended, Ervin safely returned to Santa and they moved to Fresno, California so Ervin could work with his brother building houses. After their son, Don, was born, they settled back in Worcester and West Boylston, Massachusetts to raise their family, which now included their daughter, Gloria. When living in Massachusetts, sharing meals and holidays, picnics at Dean Park, and weeklong trips to the beach all with her extended family were her favorite pastimes. She also enjoyed playing cards with her sisters and friends at Club every Friday night.

After Ervin’s retirement in 1982, Ervin and Santa moved to Lacey, Washington to be with their children and grandchildren. The most important thing to Santa was family, both her Washington family and her Massachusetts family. Santa frequently returned to Worcester for visits. When living in Washington, she enjoyed camping and fishing with family and friends. She also enjoyed cooking and baking and feeding everyone that came to her home whether they were hungry or not. She was famous for her cream puffs, her Italian Christmas cookies, and her infectious laugh. She was a Red Sox and Mariners fan. Because of her welcoming warm heart, she was loved by many.

Santa and Ervin remained happily married and inseparable for 69 years until his death in 2012. She spent the last eight years surrounded by his pictures missing him. They now have been reunited for eternity.

Santa is survived by her son Don Miller (Donella) and daughter Gloria Mott (Robert); grandchildren Michael Miller, William Miller (Shanaka), Lori Delaney (Jon), Amy Larrabee (Shane) and Adam Mott (Yukiko); great-grandchildren Rachael Benson (Richard), Morgan Cain, Cameron Cain (Keadrin), Kenneth Miller (Kristin), Bryon Avelar (Beth-Anne Koval), Corey Delaney (Veronica) and Kendyl Larrabee; great-great grandchildren Raiden and Ruby Benson; sisters Mary Ducharme (Don) and Connie Paquette; and numerous nieces and nephews. Santa was preceded by her parents, husband, brothers Benjamin and Carmen Arello, and sisters Ann Nigro, Lucy Campanile, Rose Laraia and Lena Crowder.

Santa was a faithful Catholic and a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lacey, Washington since 1982.

The family would like to thank Garden Court Memory Care Center, Olympia, Washington and Providence Hospice for their supportive and companionate care of Santa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to: Providence Sound Hospice 4200 6th Ave. SE Lacey, WA 98503


  • Lori Delaney, Pallbearer
  • Bill Miller, Pallbearer
  • Shanaka Miller, Pallbearer
  • Fred Dutra, Pallbearer
  • Ricky Benson, Pallbearer
  • Rachael Benson, Pallbearer
  • Mike Miller, Honorary Pallbearer


  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, September 15, 2020


Santa Marie Miller

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Ferraiuolo DeNittis

September 11, 2020

Gloria and family,
So sorry to hear about the passing of your cherished Mom and Grandmother. She was all about family. She was a sweetheart. I still remember the sound of her laugh. We exchanged Christmas cards for years, and she would always ask about Shah-Do, my Shih-Tzu. Remember all the good times. She is now with your Dad. My sincere sympathy to you all.



September 9, 2020

How do I even begin... Grandma Santa I will miss your laugh, your love, your food, your catch-phrases (“Who”, “No Sir”), your precious hands, your itty-bitty feet, your baking, your cards filled with messages of love and blessings.

I will cherish the memories of sewing with you, Camping with you, spending the night with you, Calling you, having dinner with you (Saturday’s w/Santa), baking with you, going back east with you, dancing the chicken dance with you, holding your hand, watching the strongest woman I know let go of Papa and still keep going.

I miss your hugs and kisses. I’m sad, for sure, but I know you are with your love and loved ones that went before you. Dementia/Alzheimer’s didn’t win. You may have forgot the memories, but we didn’t! I’ll see you when I get there! I love you so so much!

*Photo is our last FaceTime call...you were always amazed by technology!


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