Obituary: Joanne Malicky Miller Roman Aug. 15, 2023

Joanne Malicky Miller Roman Aug. 15, 2023

Joanne C. Malicky Miller Roman, 89, of Salem, Oregon, and longtime resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico passed away on August 15, 2023 after her long fight with Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.

Joanne was born in 1933, to Georgia and Charles Malicky in Marysville, KS. Joanne graduated from Barneston, NE as Valedictorian of her class and received the Regent’s Scholarship to complete a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Science from Kansas State College. 

Joanne was the editor of her high school yearbook and won regional awards for excellent flute solos in 1949, 1950, and 1951 competing with eleven other Nebraska high schools. Her mother was part of the faculty at her school, who achieved her teacher’s certification graduating from Kansas State College, University of Colorado S.S., and University of Nebraska S.S. One year, Joanne’s mother was her teacher at school.

In 1957, Joanne married Robert (Bob) Miller after meeting at Kansas State College. Joanne and Bob moved to New Mexico to start their careers and family having three children, Melanee, Aimee, and “Robbie” (Rob). In 1959, Joanne became a certified Missionary of the Gospel for the United Presbyterian Church in the USA by the Board of National Missions. As a result of divorce, Joanne changed her last name to her great-grandmother’s name, Roman.

Joanne gained career experience by teaching vocational education and nutrition before entering a career as a Bernalillo County Extension Certified Home Economist. She taught special needs children in Los Lunas, NM, for several years. She received the prestigious national Florence Hall Award in 1976 and the mid-career award for the New Mexico chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi in 1987. Joanne was a judge at the New Mexico State Fair in several food categories for many years.

She taught her three children how to cook, sew, and do other crafts, all becoming multiple ribbon winners at the New Mexico State Fair. In November 1993, Joanne retired as the Director of the Bernalillo County Expanded Food and Nutrition Extension Program (EFNEP) through New Mexico State University, US Department of Agriculture. Joanne was an excellent worker with low-income families, and helped paraprofessionals grow and develop professionally. She developed many high-quality teaching materials for low-income families.

After retirement, Joanne spent her time teaching classes to make spiritual banners for primarily church settings, and New Mexico-themed craft items for sale at local gift shops. She devoted significant effort hosting events and gatherings for all her grandchildren and family and many other less fortunate children.  She participated on a NM State Board for the protection of abused children which had a significant impact on her.

Joanne was predeceased by her sister Virginia Newman. She is survived by daughters Melanee Hand [husband David], and Aimee Zabst [ husband Richard], and son Rob Miller [wife Liana]. Joanne (Grandma Jo) has 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren and nieces Kathryn [Mike] Trapp, and Patrice Newman.

Services will be held at Shephard of the Valley Presbyterian Church, Albuquerque, New Mexico on October 15th at 3 p.m. The family is also planning to attend the mass ascension of the Balloon Fiesta on October 15th, a favorite annual event for Joanne and her family.

Donations in Joanne’s honor can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or Michael J. Fox Foundation, and child and animal welfare organizations including the World Wildlife Fund and ASPCA.

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