Bernadette McGowan Miller
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Bernadette McGowan Miller
July 2, 1919 – December 18, 2012
Resident of San Mateo

Bernadette McGowan Miller, a native San Franciscan who lived most of her life in the Bay Area, died Tuesday, December 18, 2012 in San Mateo. She was 93. Born July 2, 1919, in her grand-parents home on Potrero Hill, Bernadette attended several public schools in the Bay Area. As a high school student, she crossed the bay by ferry to attend Tamalpais High School. Part of what drew her to the school was the beauty of Marin County, where she had lived for several years in the city of San Anselmo. In 1940 she married Bill McGowan and raised the couple's five children in the early years in San Bruno. The family then moved to Malibu. In 1965 Bernadette's husband died, and she moved with her children back to the Bay Area, living over the years in several cities, including Los Altos, Sunnyvale, Santa Rosa and finally San Mateo. During this period she married Bill Miller and was later widowed. Throughout her life, Bernadette was a deeply spiritual woman who was devoted to the Catholic Church. She was an active parishioner at St. Gregory's church in San Mateo. She cared about the poor a great deal and supported the work done for the poor by the Salesian and Maryknoll brothers. She also loved to swim, and while the family lived in Malibu, she would swim beyond the breakers and do the backstroke at Little Dume Beach. The other love she had was classical music and opera. Most importantly, Bernadette exuded a love of life and shared that love with all around her, making and keeping good friends wherever she went. She is survived by four of her children – Paula Nokes of Honolulu (husband Mark), Mark (wife Robyn) of San Francisco, Marla McGowan (husband Phil Fernandez) of San Francisco and Rory (wife Lindy) of San Mateo. Her son Kirk, predeceased her. Bernadette is also survived by six grandchildren – Mallory and Hilary Hart, Moira Pucci, Rylee, Makena and Jackson McGowan.