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Mary Agnes (Nugent) Miller


Published June 30, 2020

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Mary Agnes (Nugent) Miller, 78, of Branford (formerly of Ellington), passed away peacefully on June 19 at Connecticut Hospice surrounded by her family. Born in 1941 in Auburn, Massachusetts, to James and Agnes (Kelley) Nugent, she received her bachelor’s degree from Anna Maria College (‘63). Her high school sweetheart Leo, also of Auburn, proposed to her on Cape Cod, a special place they returned to most summers with their family. After a 10-month engagement, they were married at St. Joseph’s Church in 1965.

Mary settled in Ellington with Leo where they raised their family and served the community for 47 years. A trail-blazing woman leader in public service, she was elected as First Selectwoman of the Town of Ellington in 1979, a position she held for a decade. After leaving elected office, she continued her professional career, first at the Capitol Region Council of Governments and later for the Town of Simsbury. A lifelong learner, Mary completed two master’s degrees in her 50’s from the University of Bridgeport and the University of Connecticut, respectively. She retired in 2005.

Mary was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother, “Gran,” and loyal friend. A person of great integrity, she instilled her values in many who considered her a role model and who will carry on her legacy.

She is survived by Leo, her husband of 55 years; son Mike of Phoenix, Arizona; daughter Erin (Michael) Spaulding, and grandchildren Katie, Caroline, and Conor, all of Branford; and 29 nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her siblings James (Worcester, Massachusetts), John (Lenox, Massachusetts), and Alice Cavanaugh (Keene, New Hampshire), as well as her niece Leslie Nugent (Smithfield, Rhode Island).

The family would like to thank Mary’s team of physicians and nurses, especially her dedicated and compassionate caregivers Louise Hahn, Sadys Amoah, and Melody Yusif.

A memorial service will be held at a later date, when all can gather to celebrate Mary’s life. Donations in Mary’s memory may be made to the Ellington Community Scholarship Association (ECSA),, PO Box 54, Ellington, CT 06029, designation to the Mary A. Miller Memorial Scholarship, which will be granted to Ellington High School graduates. W.S. Clancy Funeral Home is entrusted with final arrangements. For an online memorial and guest book, please visit

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