Miller remembered as sincere, intelligent former student

Students, profs and family recall ‘witty young woman’

A photograph of Catherine ‘Catie’ Miller. Photo: Deborah Oomen

Catherine “Catie” Miller was remembered at Saint Mary’s University as someone “who could light up the room with her smile.”

Members of the Saint Mary’s University community gathered Friday in the international centre, picked for its light and view of trees on campus.

Miller attended Saint Mary’s for three years studying environmental science and geography.

Family, friends and old professors of Miller’s shared stories of how she touched them. Danika Van Proosdij was Miller’s supervisor and recalled first seeing the missing person flyers around campus.

“I remember thinking, ‘I know her, she looks so familiar…’” said Van Proosdij.

“I remember the sick feeling at the pit of my stomach when I made the connection and the feelings of hopelessness as weeks turned to months.”

Miller, 29 years old, went missing in July. Over the last week three arrests have been made in connection to her murder.

Van Proosdji asked that she not be remembered as another Saint Mary’s student whose life was cut short due to violence, but to remember her laugh and compassion.

“She was an intelligent, quiet, witty young woman who could light up the room with her smile,” said Van Proosdij. “It’s an absolute tragedy how she was taken away from us and we’ll always think of her son and her smile.”

Next to Miller’s photograph was a stuffed animal of a husky, the university’s mascot. The school hopes it’ll go to her three-year-old son she left behind.

The husky - SMU’s mascot - is a gift for Miller’s son. Photo: Deborah Oomen

Cristian Suteanu, a professor in the environmental science department, said you rarely find a person who was so open and sincere. Although it is not an attempt at closure, he thinks the memorial is positive and powerful.

“These things cannot be visible but I think something really happens here. Something changes and changes in everyone,” said Suteanu.

Suteanu spoke about recently pulling out the last project Miller did for him, which he said was by far the best in the class.

After attending Saint Mary’s, Miller joined the Woman’s Unlimited Program at Nova Scotia Community College and graduated from the electricians program in 2013.

According to her obituary she was an avid supporter of social justice, women’s issues and protecting the environment.

Friends and family of Catie Miller gathered in the International Centre and Saint Mary’s University. Photo: Deborah Oomen

Her mother last communicated with Miller on July 15 via text message. Toward the end of July her parents pleaded for the public’s help regarding any information about her whereabouts.

On Sunday the family was contacted by police and were told an arrest had been made.

Jason James Johnson and his girlfriend Kelly Amanda MacDonald have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and indecently interfering with a body. George Edward Hubley was arrested and charged with accessory to murder and indecently interfering with a dead human body.

All three suspects know each other but only Johnson is said to have known Miller.

Condolences and thoughts were left in a book for Miller’s family. Photo: Deborah Oomen



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