Joan Barbara Miller

by | Aug 31, 2012 | Obituaries

Norfolk—Joan Barbara Miller, 80, of Norfolk died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, at home, surrounded by her family.

Joan was the daughter of the late Henry and “Peggy” Schlesinger of Scarsdale, N. Y., where she was raised.

She attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. Following her college studies, Joan held multiple positions in the fashion industry including serving as a buyer for I Magnin in New York City.

Joan’s love for fashion eventually migrated to her growing appreciation for the arts. Joan worked with, and volunteered for, many organizations. Eventually settling in Norfolk in 1987, Joan was affiliated with a number of cultural and civic organizations including serving as a member of the Chrysler Museum Masterpiece Society, Chrysler Museum Glass Guild, Hermitage Society, Norfolk Society of the Arts, and the Cultural Alliance of Norfolk. In addition, Joan served on the boards of the Virginia Symphony League and the Todi Music Fest. Joan also served as president for two-terms of the auxiliaries of Sentara Norfolk General and Leigh Hospitals where she spearheaded the drive to purchase a mobile mammography unit. She continued to serve on the hospital’s patient and family and advisory committee.

Joan and her beloved husband, Richard, were regular Virginia Opera attendees. Joan was asked to join the Virginia Opera statewide board of directors. For over 15 years, Joan served this board with passion and dedication. In 2009, she was elected as the president of the Virginia Opera for a twoyear term.

Joan is survived by her loving husband, Richard I. Miller of Norfolk, and her son, Stephen J. Schneider and his wife, Dr. Anna Sommer Schneider of Washington, D.C. Joan also leaves behind Stephen’s father, Stanley J. Schneider of Albuquerque, N. M. Joan is also survived by her stepchildren, Dorianne Villani and her husband, Dan, and Sandra Louise Levi and her husband, Jack, all of Virginia Beach, Henry Cecil Miller and his wife, Robin of Chesapeake. Joan is survived as well by her seven loving grandchildren: Matthew and Katelyn Villani, Benjamin and Kari Anne Levi, and Samantha, Cady, and Nathan Miller.

A memorial service was held at Ohef Sholom Temple. Contributions to the Joan B. Miller Fund at the Virginia Opera, P.O. Box 2580, Norfolk, VA 23501-2580 or at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts. Online condolences through