In Memoriam:

Donald St. Clair Miller


We were saddened to learn of the recent passing of Bebe’s twin brother, Clair. Both Clair and Bebe came to Bearnstow at the age of 6, along with their mother and sister. Clair last returned to camp in 2018 and enjoyed staying in the same cabin he occupied as a young boy.

Memories of Clair Miller

Clair came to camp every summer from age 6 (1957) until age 13, with our mother Hazel (the camp nurse), my sister Ruth and me. Hazel had met Reg at Henry Street Settlement during our Saturday dance class days; they became friends, and when camp needed a new nurse Reg invited Hazel and the whole family. He loved the camp experience: he became head of the stable chores crew, was an avid swimmer, learned the Junior Maine Guide camp craft skills, and was popular with both the boys and the girls. He loved jokes and playing tricks on his campmates, and was fun to be around. When we went home at the end of the summer we were quietly “camp-sick” and looked forward to the next summer.

His adult years were hard, as he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in high school. However, he began to turn his life around in the 1990s, eventually earning a BS in Social Work in 2009. He worked for ten years at Services for the Underserved, a non-profit organization that supports adults with issues similar to his. He was well loved by his co-workers who spoke of how positively he connected with those struggling with mental issues.

He will be missed by his Bearnstow friends and family.

I am so happy that Clair was able to visit camp two summers ago. And of course, I saw him again at my birthday party last March. At camp he was a quiet young boy, but he participated fully in all the camp activities. His favorite was caring for the horses.

Soon after coming to camp, Clair graduated to head stable boy. As such, feeding the horses was primary. But Clair often forgot to take the kitchen parings saved for the horses to feed them in the evening. At long last Fran became exasperated with the reminders. She took the bucket, went to cabin 4 where the boys (including Clair) were sound asleep, and emptied the bucket over Clair’s head. He sat up: “What do I do?” “Get up, pick up this mess, put on your shoes, and go feed the horses!” He did not forget again.

I remember the child. Clair, as gentle and trusting, creative and venturesome, qualities which gave him a tough time as a young adult, but which served him well in his profession, social work. I loved the child, Clair, and when we were united in last few years of his .life, I found him to be still the person I could love.

Rest well, dear Clair.

Iím so sorry to hear this news. St. Clair always emanated a lovely warmth and a ready kind smile, I always looked forward to and appreciated seeing him. Thoughts of love and deep peace are sent to Bebe and Ruth and their families, from the Duffy/Wittner/Stroms here in Maine.
Mary-Therse Duffy     

A Trip to the Coast, ca 1963. Names I remember—
Two boys down front: Michael Fisher and Roger Sternfeld
Zigzaging cross the back: Sharon Kantowitz, [unknown boy], Penny Risen, Dean Perlman, Ruth Miller,
Clair Miller, Bebe Miller, Greg Trent, Calvin Johnson, Steffi Wales, and Zoe Berger (half obscured)

Riding in Final Show, ca 1964

At the bus station on the way home, ca 1963

Clair at Bearnstow during Natural History Week in 2018

Clair with Reg at her 100th birthday party, March 2019