York City woman remembered after bus crash

Christopher Dornblaser

When Emy Delgaudio moved to York City from the Philippines nine years ago, she did not know many other Filipino-Americans. That all changed when she was introduced to Evelyn Miller, who co-founded the Philippine American Heritage Council.

It was a sad day for the council on Wednesday when Miller, 70, of the 1200 block of West Market Street, was struck and killed by a school bus. She was 70.

Delgaudio, of West Manchester Township, remembered Miller fondly. Delgaudio said Miller was born in the Philippines and ended up leaving at a young age. She said Miller's Filipino culture was instilled in her by her mother, and Miller also kept up with it when she lived in California for a portion of her life.

In York, Miller was known not just as a founding member of the council but as a generous person who avidly attended her church and helped out when needed.

Church: Miller attended St. Patrick Catholic Church, 231 S Beaver St. The Rev. Keith Carroll said she would attend daily Mass as well as the 4:30 p.m. Saturday Mass. Carroll said she had been registered with the parish since 2003, but he believes she may have registered there earlier in her life as well.

In addition to attending church, she was also very generous.

"It was not uncommon for me to find apples, bananas and tomatoes hanging on the side door of the rectory, courtesy of Evelyn,"  he said in an email. Carroll said he remembered a few weeks ago, Miller attended the parish's Mardi Gras celebration, where she was willing to help out any way she could.

Bob Cosgrove, of York New Salem and a long-time member of the church, knew Miller as someone who was always willing to lend a hand.

Cosgrove is a member of Compassion York Food Run, an organization of local area churches that sets up free meals on Sundays, as food banks don't operate on the weekend. Cosgrove said any time he asked for help with the free meals, Miller would help.

“Every single one of them, Evelyn, without fail, would say, 'I want to come and help,'” he said.

Cosgrove said Miller was always true to her word.

"If she said she would be there, she'd be there," he said.

Council: One crucial thing she helped with each year were the Heritage Festivals hosted by the church. Miller and Delgaudio, among others, represented Filipino-Americans at the festival. The event has about 12 different ethnic groups represented, serving popular dishes at booths. Miller served authentic Filipino food to the people who attended the event.

They enjoyed it so much, they decided in 2012 to create a group for bringing together Filipino-Americans together, helping create the Philippine American Heritage Council.  While Miller never wished to be on the leadership of the council, she often helped out with events, such as the annual Heritage Picnic.

Now, years later, the council has members across the United States and in the Philippines.

Evelyn Miller posed for photo with Emy Delgaudio, showing off their healthy low-carb and sugarfree dessert, after they had special Easter lunch, at the latter's home, on April 20, 2014.

Friendship: While the two helped form the council, they had known each other for a few years before that, and Delgaudio said Miller was like her aunt. Her husband had known Miller from church and he introduced Delgaudio to her. They were friends ever since. She said she would invite Miller over for dinner and on occasion they would attend local events together.

Delgaudio said Miller liked to spend time with another Filipino-American.

“I think she wanted that, because she’s getting a picture of the country that she came from,” she said.

Delgaudio said Miller often spoke her mind, even if it wasn't the polite way people expected from her.

"She was very frank, but then knowing her, there's a soft spot," she said. She said one year Miller was invited over for Easter, and she brought flowers because she knew how much Delgaudio liked them.

She said Miller was frequently reading and often engaged in conversations about politics.

“She’s knowledgeable about things,” she said. "Anything under the sun we can talk about."

Miller is survived by her two sons, Walter and Roderick Miller, and her surviving siblings are Rod McLeod and Bonnie Smith.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at cdornblaser@yorkdispatch.com.

Evelyn Miller receiving a certificate of recognition for her Outstanding Volunteer Service for her active participation at the May 20, 2012, Heritage Festival. The certificate was awarded at the 1st Annual picnic of the then newly formed Philippine American Heritage Council. The certificate was handed out by PA State Rep. Seth Grove (196th Legislative District, York County), who was also the Keynote Speaker of the event, on June 24, 2012.