Audrey “Sue” Miller Audrey Lorraine Miller, known to most as Sue, died Tuesday, January 18 at Carbondale Memorial Hospital at the age of 86. She was born August 27, 1923 to Raymond E. and Harriet (Falkenberg) Blaisdell and grew up in Chicago. She graduated from Lucy Flower Technical High School and then attended the Cook County School of Nursing, graduating in the spring of 1945. It was the tail end of WWII, and at the graduation ceremony, an Army recruiter was waiting as the nurses received their diplomas. She enlisted and served stateside with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. After the war, she returned to Chicago and worked as a Surgical Nurse at Cook County, where both she and her future husband, A. Watson Miller, M.D., were hand-selected to work with the legendary Dr. Karl Meyer. When Dr. Miller came to Southern Illinois in 1950, he found there were no nurses with the necessary background to assist him. So he returned to Chicago for a visit and “proposed” to her with the words, “I need a nurse that knows how to set up an O.R.” They were married on October 26, 1952. She served as the O.R. Supervisor at Herrin Hospital from 1950 until 1957, when she gave birth to her daughter, Patricia. Two sons followed – Karl, born in 1959 and Keith, born in 1961. She continued to work part-time in the O.R. and in 1966 helped to charter the Southern Illinois Chapter of the AORN (Association of Operating Room Nurses). It was the second Illinois chapter after Chicago. She served as its first president and held office until 1969. She scrubbed with Dr. Miller until her retirement in 1980. She had a brilliant mind and continued her education throughout her lifetime, culminating in receiving her B.S. in Nursing in 1982. Her interests were many. From childhood, she loved science fiction, raised on Amazing Stories, Doc Savage and Buck Rogers. She and her husband were both members of First Fandom, whose membership consists solely of those who were fans before 1939. At Science Fiction Conventions, she was on a first-name basis with many of the great authors. As a teen, at her father’s urging, she and her cousin were the first women to enroll as students at the Chicago Judo Club. Among the instructors was June Tegner, mother of author and martial artist Bruce Tegner. Unfortunately, a fall on an icy sidewalk resulted in a wrist injury that precluded a trip to compete in Japan and shortly afterward, the onset of WWII resulted in the internment of her professor and the end of her judo days. She was passionate about the space program as well. When a last-minute opportunity arose to attend the launch of Apollo 16, she threw a toothbrush and a pair of clean underwear in her purse and flew to Florida, witnessed the launch, partied with the Sci-Fi crowd, and returned 3 days later. She and her husband subsequently attended the Apollo 17 launch, the only night launch of a Saturn V rocket. The entire family attended the launch of Skylab, the last of the Saturn V’s. Another love was opera and ballet. She was a long-time subscriber to the Lyric Opera of Chicago. One of her most treasured experiences was the opportunity to see the legendary duo of Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev dance together. She loved to travel, with a special passion for ancient areas – Egypt and the Mediterranean being among her favorite destinations. Other highlights included seeing the Taj Mahal, a safari in Kenya which included a balloon ride over the Serengeti, and a trip to the Soviet Union before American tourists were generally allowed. She had a knack for being in interesting places at interesting times. She was in San Francisco when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and recalled the subsequent blackout of the West Coast and the difficulty the city had with extinguishing the lights on the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a round-the-world trip, she had a tense stopover at the Tehran Airport during the height of the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She was a lifetime member of the Alumni Association of the Cook County School of Nursing and a longtime member of the Art Institute of Chicago. She served on the board of Friends of WSIU. She was a member of MENSA and The Occupants of the Empty House. She was a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund and the Archeological Institute of America. She was widowed in 1984. She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Miller of Arlington Heights, IL; son Karl and Evelyn Miller of Colorado Springs, CO; son Keith of Herrin and her cousin, Ruth Sprung of Arden, NC. Canine survivors include “son” Rory and “grandson” J.P. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. at Van Natta Funeral Home in Herrin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Herrin Hospital Auxiliary or the First Presbyterian Church of Herrin.