Friday, July 20, 2012


     June 1 was a very special day for the Miller & Clear families. The matriarch of this large family, Essie Clear, whom everyone calls Dear, celebrated her 80th birthday and 150 family members arrived in Chicago from St. Louis, Memphis, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Williamsburg, Virginia, and New York to join Chicago-based relatives in throwing a huge party for Dear. Essie is mother to eleven children, all high school graduates who went on to attend college. They include three prominent ministers on Chicago’s West Side – Reverend Johnny L. Miller, Reverend Matthew Miller, PhD, and Reverend Leon Miller – a physician, Dr. James L. Miller; Colonel Samuel L Clear, U.S. Army; and a U.S. Naval officer with a PhD, currently serving in Afghanistan; plus five hardworking and successful daughters. Dear has 32 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren. Essie may have come from humble beginnings in Mississippi, but her children remember her as a beautiful, strong woman singing hymns and cooking great meals. She delivered the same speech each morning as she sent her children off to school: “Go to school, listen and learn so that you can be successful.” They followed her orders. Happy Birthday, Dear!

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