Cover photo for Barbara Carol Van Vactor Miller's Obituary
Barbara Carol Van Vactor Miller Profile Photo
Barbara

Barbara Carol Van Vactor Miller

Barbara Carol Van Vactor Miller passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 10, 2024 at the age of 69, surrounded by her family. She was born in Plymouth, Indiana to Harold and Marjorie (Mudgie) Van Vactor.

Barb graduated from Plymouth High School in 1973 and completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Indiana University in Bloomington.

While at IU she met David Miller, and they married in June of 1978.

In 1979 Barb and Dave moved to Phoenix, Arizona to start a business, and in 1981 had their first child, Patrick David.  Missing their families, they sold their business and moved back to Indiana, settling in Bloomington.

It was then that Barb started her storied 28-year career at the IU Kelley School of Business, first teaching Business Communications and shorthand, and then the Intro to Computers course, K201.  Over the years she became known as “the Queen of K201,” and led the design of the laboratory portion of the course and coordinated all of the Teaching Assistants and Peer Tutors.

In 1984 Barb and Dave welcomed their daughter, Sarah Maria, into the world. Even as a busy faculty member at IU, Barb was the guiding hand in raising their two kids and coordinating their academic, arts and sporting activities.

They spent their Bloomington years making great friends and spending time at “The Institute” and then hosting get togethers at their Cabot Court Pub, Pool and Pong house.

In 2003 they moved from Bloomington up to Plymouth to be involved in the Van Vactor family real estate development, and while there, Barb designed and taught the Intro to Computer lab  course at Notre Dame for six years.  She took time off to care for both her parents in their later years.

She made great friends in Plymouth and was active in her Book Club and the “Ladies of the Lake” social activities.  She loved walking around the lake with her friends and catching up on the latest happenings.

Barb loved to spend hours in her garden and was certified as a Master Gardener. Her other outside activities in Plymouth included the P.E.O. Sisterhood as a Former President and Member of Chapter DO; a member of the Tri Kappa Plymouth Associate Chapter; and the First United Methodist Church  Community Meal Committee.  Barb was the Secretary of her Plymouth High School Class of 1973 and worked on all the reunion committees over the years. Barb also coordinated all the activities for the annual Hutchings Reunion, and she spent many years as the Secretary of the Pretty Lake Property Owners Association.

In Bloomington she was on the Board of the Youth Services Bureau of Bloomington, and a member of the 100+ Women Who Care organization.

Barb is survived by her husband David, son Patrick (Natalie) Miller and daughter Sarah (Pablo) Fuentes; siblings David (Chris) Van Vactor, Stephen (Maria) Van Vactor, and Patricia (Edward) Wright;  4 grandchildren, Abigail, Benjamin, Weston and Parker; in-laws Rick and Kerrie Miller, and Leslie Miller and Lola; her Aunt Ruth Kinney, Aunt Helen (Larry) Beedy, Aunt Toni Hutchings, and Uncle Jim Hutchings; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews and their families who were so dear to her.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, sister Judy, brother Gary and nephew Michael.

Friends and family say Barb was loving, selfless, compassionate, and generous. She was a beautiful ray of light even through her last days, as she spent time with loved ones and looked out at the sunsets over Pretty Lake. She was at peace knowing she had lived a full, wonderful life, with so many people who have loved and supported her over the years. She was happy knowing she would be able to see the people she loved again.  

They say that love always ends in grief, and many people are grieving the loss of an amazing woman.  As we remember Barb’s smiling face, we can be reminded of all of the beautiful memories we all made with her.

In lieu of flowers, Barb would prefer you make donations in Plymouth to the P.E.O. Star Scholarship Fund (3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312), the First United Methodist Church Community Meal Program (400 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563) or The REES Theatre (100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563).
Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 12:30-2:30PM at the First United Methodist Church, 400 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563. A memorial service will immediately follow at 2:30PM with Pastor Lauren Hall officiating. A Celebration of Life will be held from 4-6PM at The REES Theatre, 100 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN 46563.

An additional Celebration of Life will be held in Bloomington on Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 1:30-3:30PM at the IU Kelley School of Business in the Prebys Career Center on the North Side of the building, 1275 E 10th St, Bloomington, IN 47405. Guests may park for free in the parking garage across the street on Fee Lane. In Bloomington, donations may be made to the Youth Services Bureau of Monroe County (615 S. Adams Street, Bloomington, IN 47403) or The Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington (PO Box 1716, Bloomington, IN 47402).
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Carol Van Vactor Miller, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 16, 2024

12:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

400 N Michigan St, Plymouth, IN 46563

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Memorial Service

Saturday, March 16, 2024

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

First United Methodist Church

400 N Michigan St, Plymouth, IN 46563

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 16, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Sunday, March 24, 2024

1:30 - 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

Kelley School of Business at Indiana University

1275 E 10th St, Bloomington, IN 47405

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