Margaret (Peggie) Royena Miller Johnson
April 28, 1923 – March 22, 2016
Life-long Daytona Beach resident, Margaret (Peggie) Royena Miller Johnson passed from this life on March 22, 2016. Ninety-three years ago this week, she arrived into the world in the house her father built by hand at 215 South Wild Olive in Daytona Beach. She departed just a few miles from where she arrived – surrounded by and held with love by her three children, a grandchild and her long-term caregiver.
She is survived by her children, Bernard Craig Johnson (Gloria), Deltona; Brenda Johnson Edwards (Jerry), Ponce Inlet; and Charles (Chuck) Johnson, Fort Lauderdale; her grandchildren, Kelly Bonner, Lobelville, TN; Bryan Bonner, Herriman, UT; Catherine Treiber, Castle Rock, CO; Cassandra Dancause, Ava, MO; and Trey Edwards, Ponce Inlet; seven great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; nine of her sisters‘ children; and her sister Jean Moores, Daytona Beach Shores. She is preceded in death by her parents Charles Roy and Albie Marie Miller; her former husband (the father of her children and the love of her life), Bernard A. Johnson; her sisters Joy Winslow, Reba Johnson, and Wanda Schlenker; and her brother, William Miller (deceased before her birth as a result of an accident on Main Street in Daytona Beach in 1921).
Peggie was truly a “Florida child.” As an infant in 1886, her father came to an unincorporated area just south of Volusia, Florida, on the Saint John’s River in West Volusia County known as Bluffton. Her parents arrived in the Halifax area in the first decade of the twentieth century. They operated a “motor court” and refueling station named “Camp Joy” at the corner of Riverside Drive and Flomich Avenue. The riverfront land between Riverside Drive and the Halifax River is now a public park given to the city of Holly Hill by the Millers. The home in which she and her four sisters grew up was just north of what is now known as East ISB and the corner of South Wild Olive.
Growing up with beach sand between her toes and a love of art and dance, she was known to “dance into the room” at every opportunity. She was always ready to recall her childhood memories of holding the hand of her father while climbing to the top of the sand dunes to watch Sir Malcolm Campbell set the latest land speed record on the sands of Daytona Beach in the early 1930’s; or tell the stories of foraging in the moonlight on warm summer nights with her family for freshly laid turtle eggs to make turtle egg ice cream; or retelling the role of her father as a WPA worker during the great depression building the Daytona Beach Bandshell and surrounding structures.
All of the Miller sisters attended Seabreeze School (now remembered as Seabreeze Junior High School). She was a member of the Class of 1941. She attended Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1945. She met Bernard at Chapel Hill in 1943 and they married in the summer following her graduation.
Bernard joined The United States Navy and the couple spent the next few years in various locals training for and becoming an officer. She returned to Daytona Beach with Bernard in 1952 with two young children in tow. In 1953, they built a family home on Crescent Ridge Road at the corner of Bridgeport Road, and in 1958 a third child was born. The couple later divorced in 1965.
Following her divorce, she joined the Volusia County School District where she was employed as the Media Specialist at Riverview Elementary School. Upon the opening of Tomoka Elementary School in Ormond Beach in 1969, she became the school’s Media Specialist, and she remained in that position until her retirement in 1992.
She was a sustaining or past member of Delta Delta Delta; Junior League of Daytona Beach; Alpha Delta Kappa; The Peninsula Women’s Club; The Halifax Historical Society; The Museum of Arts and Sciences; The Art League of Daytona Beach; and The Cherry Laurel Garden Club. She was a life-long member of the congregation at The First Presbyterian Church of Daytona Beach.
She lived in the family home until 2003 when she and her daughter’s family began living together in Ponce Inlet. From the time her health began to fail in 2005 to her last breath she enjoyed the loving and compassionate care of Marilou Hurlburt at Canal View Rest Home, Port Orange.
Someplace, somewhere, Peggie is “dancing into the room.” Eager to engage and excited with the prospect of schooling an unsuspecting stranger with captivating stories of Daytona’s past and the enchanting tales of her charmed childhood. Please join us as we endeavor to provide the music for her entrance; to reminisce; to recognize; and to honor the life of our mother and grandmother – a woman of strength; a reluctant pathfinder; a dedicated guide to the lives of her children; and a steady and immortal source of unconditional love. May her spirit rest eternally in peace.
A celebration of her life will take place at 3:00pm on May 1st at The Estate on the Halifax www.estateonthehalifax.com. Her ashes will be placed in the family plot in the Pinewood Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in her name to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.