When resident Anita Miller was in the eighth grade, her teacher, Ms. Hochberg, suggested she enter an essay contest sponsored by the Colonial Dames of America. She won first place in Montgomery County and Pennsylvania. The recognition helped her realize she could make a career out of writing.

Anita took classes at Temple University and later applied for a reporter position at The Philadelphia Inquirer. The editors wanted her to cover Bucks County, but she convinced them she should write her own column instead.

In one of her first columns, she chronicled her experience visiting the flight deck of the aircraft carrier S.S. Abraham Lincoln in San Francisco, California. She was invited there by Commander Donald L. Baker, U.S. Naval Reserve, a friend of hers for 34 years.

“Everyone loved the story, and I ended up writing for the paper for more than eight years,” Anita said.

While writing for the Inquirer, Anita also worked for WBUX Radio in Doylestown. She had her own radio show with her own guests. She stayed at the station for more than eight years.

Anita continued writing for several local magazines and newspapers, including two airline flight publications. Dissatisfied with the quality of one of the publications during a flight, she contacted the editor to ask if she could contribute an article.

Anita taught two courses at Bucks County Community College. The first one, “Getting Up and Getting Out When You’re Left Alone,” was about bouncing back after being widowed or divorced. The second one, “So You Always Wanted to Get Your Name in the Papers and Didn’t Know How to Do it,” taught students how to do their own public relations.

Anita decided to run for the Warminster School Board in the 1970s against two men, and she won. She also found housing for more than 20 Italian students who came to the states through the Foreign Study League French and Italian programs. In addition, Anita worked for the Solebury School in New Hope as director of public relations and special events.

“Sometimes I think it was pure insanity that I did all the things I did at the same time, but I never had a job I didn’t love,” she said. “It was an insane time in my life, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Although she spent much of her life writing, Anita had another love: theater. After graduating from high school, she toured with the USO American Theater Wing, performing on Army bases and Naval ships during World War II.

While living in New York City, Anita took singing lessons at the famed Irving Berlin Studio. She often performed with a band at weddings and sweet sixteen parties.
Anita grew up in Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Norristown High School in 1944 with three writing awards. She also performed in all the school plays.
She grew up in a large Masonic family and is Past Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star Morning Light Chapter No. 312 in Hatboro.

“I’ve been involved with [Eastern Star] for about 20 years,” she said. “My dad, my uncles and my brothers, all of them were Masons.”

Anita married her husband Len in 1953 and the couple had two children. They lived for many years in their Warminster home before Len passed away in 1980. Anita moved to Masonic Village about a year ago.

“It’s very clean here, and the personnel are excellent,” she said. “There’s a lot of intelligence and a good sense of humor. Every day I play Scrabble. During COVID, I walked the halls and read and played solitaire.”

In her free time, Anita loves to read, cook and bake. She is a longtime board member of the Peace Valley Center for Autism in Chalfont. Her son’s twins are both autistic, and she is very dedicated to the cause.

Anita, who turned 96 in March, credits years of writing and an engaging career for keeping her mind sharp.

“Reading helps my brain,” she said. “I recently took a trip to the thrift store and bought three more books. I love to read.”