Shirley Brodsky-Miller

January 25, 1928 - July 17, 2013
Shirley Brodsky-Miller

Shirley Brodsky-Miller (nee Smulevitz), transitioned at the age of 85 on July 17, 2013, in Wilmington, NC where she has lived for the past eight years.

She was born on January 25, 1928 in Gary, Indiana. Her family moved to Chicago, IL where she married Ernest Brodsky in 1948 who preceded her in death. She later married Arthur Miller who preceded her in death. Together they lived a robust and active life in Chicago and then relocated in 2005 to Wilmington, NC where they blended “southern charm” with their “yankee” personalities.
Shirley is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. While living in Chicago she worked for Children’s Memorial Hospital and later volunteered at Evanston Hospital caring for babies born with HIV. She also managed resale shops and did estate sales grossing a million in proceeds that benefited these children.

In addition to her husbands, she was preceded in death by a son, Gary A. Brodsky.
As a mother of six exceptional children, Shirley is survived by 5 of them, Frankie, Teddy, Cleo, Zita, and Anne and their families; a multitude of grandchildren, great- grandchildren, nieces and nephews, great- nieces and nephews, who called her “Safta”. She is also survived by several siblings and in-laws, all of whom will dearly miss her vibrant personality. She was greatly loved and cherished by family and friends; including strangers that Shirley made feel like family. Everyone held Shirley in the highest esteem and enjoyed her stimulating conversation, love of the arts and her infectious smile.
Shirley found beauty in everything and everyone through her bright clothing, adorning jewelry and tremendous sense of style and grace. She instilled in her family many lasting skills that will today give us strength, acceptance and confidence as her generous, gracious and dry sense of humor lives on with us, our families and friends.

Although we are very sad and miss her hourly, her spirit and presence lives on through all of us.

A bagels and nash brunch will be announced at a future date.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • July 23, 2013
    Mona and Arnie Rudnick says:
    Mona and I would like to express our condolences on Shirley's passing. Although we have not seen her for quite a few years since moving to Las Vegas we have kept in touch with Bev and Les and through them have been informed about Shirley. We know she will be missed by many! Warm Regards...... Mona and Arnie

  • July 28, 2013
    Shelley (Wexler) Radja says:
    So sorry to hear about Mrs. "B"s passing. I was friends with Claire (Cleo) in high school & spent many happy hours at that wonderful house (was it on sawyer?) in the North Park neighborhood. Mrs 'B ' as we called her, was larger than life, with a wonderful sense of humor, sharp wit & loving personality. I remember the sleep-overs & the Brodsky New Year's brunches with Mrs 'B's voice booming from the kitchen calling everyone to eat. Sorry we lost touch over the years, but since my mom played Maj Jong with her for many years I was able to keep in touch that way & hear news about the family for a while. Some say the measure of someone's life is the love they leave behind & in that category Mrs 'B's life is one beyond measure, judging from the wonderful words written about her. She is a shining example of how to live life to the fullest & I'm sure she is already in charge of some big projects on the other side, raring to go but also keeping a watchful eye on you all. Many blessings, Shelley (Wexler) Radja

  • August 02, 2013
    Audrey Marshall says:
    Ms. Shirley was an amazing lady with a great sense of humor. She passed on this wit and charm to her daughter, Anne along with great kindness and the ability to be a fiercely protective, loving and deeply devoted daughter and caregiver. Thank you Anne for all that you have not only done for your mother, but all of the others along the way!

  • July 25, 2013
    Nancy Hewitt says:
    So sorry for your loss. I know you loved your "Safta" very much and will miss her. Heard a couple of stories from Anne about her great sense of humor and candor. You're in my thoughts! Nancy Hewitt, Deputy Town Clerk @ Kure Beach, NC

  • July 27, 2013
    Sharon Gottlieb says:
    All this last week I have been thinking about Shirley and did an Internet search only to find out that she has left us. I had lost track of this good friend and now remember her being among a few wonderful neighbors who I loved. I remember being her volunteer at the AIDs thrift shop and so many memories. Would love for a family member to get in touch with me as I wish to share my memories. A wonderful soul has gone from our midst.