Our beloved mother, Roslyn Girard Miller, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on Feb. 25, 1929 and passed peacefully on Sept. 29, Erev Rosh Hashanah, 2019.
Along with occasional excursions to Coney Island with her younger brothers George and Ira, Roz’s Brooklyn childhood and early teen years revolved around public school, Yiddish literacy, and a blossoming political ethic. She also formed friendships that would last a lifetime. In 1947, she married our father, Edward Einfrank, and the entire family moved to Tucson. For many years we lived together in a small court at the southern edge of Armory Park. While raising four children, Roz earned her B.A. (1966) and M.Ed. (1969), both in education, from the University of Arizona.
Roz and Ed divorced in 1965. In 1972, she married George Miller, who later became a Tucson City Councilmember and then mayor. Roz and George took great joy in their marriage and were lovingly devoted to their blended family. Their partnership in working on civic causes was not only inspirational, but also essential in their love for one another.
Roz’s parents were immigrants whose lives were deeply impacted by the loss of many loved ones during the Holocaust. As a result, she became a social and political activist at a very early age, engaging in organizations and supporting political candidates who shared her sentiments. The resourceful, feminist influence of her mother, Helen Girard, was always with her and central to her beliefs and actions. Throughout our lives, we were blessed with Roz’s determined transmission of those values, especially through the celebration of Jewish holidays. In those celebrations, we saw her as a teacher and the epitome of loving motherhood and grace.
In addition to the deep, lifelong relationships going back to her days in Brooklyn, Roz enjoyed circles and circles of friends in Tucson, all of whom she admired and loved dearly. She found the most wonderful people through her involvement with Women Confronting Racism, Literacy Connects, creative movement, the Democratic Party, the Jewish community, and years of teaching, primarily at Ochoa and Drachman elementary schools.
Roz lived a life of many facets. Along with her passion for tikkun olam (healing the world) she was an actress, seamstress, master teacher, dancer and creative movement educator, folk singer, a beautiful writer, and an ingenious cook who loved to entertain. A lifetime of paying close attention to people, history, current events, culture and, really, everything around her, gave Roz great clarity. In her immeasurable love, she never missed an opportunity to open the eyes of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
She was incredibly hard-working, vivacious, beautiful, and never ceased to amaze. Truly, Roz will forever be a hard act to follow. The blessing of her loving spirit will be with us always.
Roz is survived by her children: Vera Pfeuffer (Roger), Gene Einfrank (Melissa), Robert Einfrank, and Miriam Girard (Blake Lidstrom). George’s children: Emily Keeler (Stephen Goldstine), David Miller, Andrew Miller (Denise Higgins), and Philip Miller. The grandchildren: Adin Pfeuffer (Vanesa), Joshua Gibson (Shannon Douglass), Bree Wilke (Peter), Levi Granek, Aaron Einfrank (Janelle), Daniel Einfrank, Julian Einfrank (Nicole Grabanowski), Kelsey Brashears (Huston), Cliona Einfrank, Simone Garland (Christopher), Samuel Miller, and Nicholas and Zachary Miller. The great-grandchildren: Skylar Persio, Kara and Jaymie Blaylock, Lia Einfrank, Wilder Gibson, Violet and Autumn Brashears, Lukas Pfeuffer, and Leora Einfrank. Brothers: George Girard (Emojean), and Ira Girard (Mary Anne). She also is survived by many beloved nieces and nephews, and extended family in Israel and Australia.
The family deeply appreciates the kindness and friendship of Roz’s neighbors: Peter, Linda, and Stacey, and the phenomenal care she received through Casa de la Luz.
A celebration of Roz’s life, officiated by Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, was held at Congregation Chaverim. Donations to Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, Literacy Connects, or Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace (Mission Garden) would be greatly appreciated.