Writer, editor, sun-worshipper, channel swimmer, oyster hunter, animal lover, activist and former bowling champ Susan E. Miller of Cutchogue died March 25, 2014, in Cutchogue. She was 59.
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., on May 24, 1954, to Charles and Claire Eisenstein, Sue grew up mostly in Metuchen, N.J., graduating from Metuchen High School in 1972. She graduated from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tn., in 1976 and stayed in Nashville to begin her working career. In addition to other jobs, she waited tables at the music club Exit/In, where she once told a customer that he had to hand over a credit card before he could run a tab. “I’m Neil Young,” he said. “I don’t care,” she replied. While in Nashville she also worked as an investigator for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, at which she excelled thanks to her fierce sense of fairness. This same trait fueled the passion she brought to her role as a consumer columnist for Times/Review Newspapers, and in her efforts to improve her community.
After a brief foray to St. Croix, Sue moved to the North Fork in 1980, settling in Cutchogue and marrying Jeff Miller in 1981. She started her journalism career as a reporter for Dan’s Papers, moving to The Southampton Press and then to The News-Review, where she became editor in 1986. Her consumer-advocacy column, “On the Money,” was one of every week’s most popular offerings. Of the many writing and design awards she won over the years, she was perhaps proudest of the first-place prize for a feature about a locally invented board game. The story began, “Torso Mayslax sleeps in a vat of red meat.” Among her other roles at Times/Review she served as co-publisher and editor of special sections, including Vacation Guide and Wine Press.
After retiring in 2004, Sue wrote independently, designed special sections for The Southampton Press, served as a Hospice volunteer and created her own charity for the North Fork’s needy.
Sue is survived by her husband, Jeff; her daughter, Sally, and wife Lauren Erwin; her son, Ben; Ronnie Atkinson, whom she loved like a son; her parents, Charles and Claire Eisenstein; three sisters, Sandi, Jayne and Jan; her brother, Steve; a throng of beloved nieces and nephews; her cherished mutt, Homer; and all who share her warm spirit.
Memorial donations in her name may be made to the North Fork Spanish Apostolate, the North Fork Animal Welfare League and/or East End Hospice.