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Information for Miriam Dilley
25 August, 1903 5 October, 1993
From the Idaho Press-Tribune
October, 1993
Contributed by Dennis McIndoo

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Miriam Dilley

    Miriam Dilley, of Boise, journeyed to higher realms during the night of October 6, 1993, at her home in Boise.  She Just recently celebrated her 90th birthday with her family in Alaska and Roswell, ID.
     Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Summer Funeral Homes, Boise Chapel.  Additional funeral services will be held at 2:30 p.m. (same day) at the Sterry Memorial Presbyterian Church, Roswell, ID.  Burial will follow in the family plot at Roswell Cemetery.
    Miriam was born in Garden City, Minnesota, on August 25, 1903. She grew up in Roswell and attended the College of Idaho (now Albertson College) where she majored in French and mathematics.  After graduation she began a teaching career that spanned thirty-eight years, the last eighteen being in Boise's junior high schools. She taught in four states - Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.  One of her most interesting and challenging experiences occurred when she and her brother, Joseph, were hired to start the New Meadows High School.  Fresh out of college, Miriam and Joe were the only teachers for the new school.  Over the following years, Miriam continued her education and did post graduate study at the Universities of Hawaii, Montana, Washington and California; and at the American University of southern France.  
    At the outbreak of World War II, Miriam enlisted in the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps (the WAACs) and later the Women's Army Corps (WAC).  Her military unit crossed the Atlantic on the Queen Mary with 10,000 aboard, landed in Scotland, and moved to England.  Assigned to duty in London, Miriam arrived there on D-Day, just in time for the beginning of Hitler's buzz-bombing aerial blitzkrieg of Britain.  She worked on the fifth floor of he building in which General Eisenhower had his headquarters, but because of the bombs raining down on the city, she had to sleep in the basement.  Her first assignment in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) was to France with the Office of the Chief of Claims, and she was with the first WACS to fly into Paris when the Germans began to retreat, Her military services lasted three years.
    Her avocation was traveling.  She has gone twice around the world and has visited more than a hundred countries on seven continents.  She has stood on top of the earth and walked the tundra above the Arctic Circle, and at the bottom of the globe she has walked the icy shore of Antarctica.  She swam below sea level in Jordan's Dead Sea, went on safari in Africa, trekked in Nepal with Sherpa porters, and camped on a hill in the Anapurna Mountains, She rode an ostrich in South Africa and elephants in India and Thailand; donkeys on the Isles of Patmos and Rhodes; horses to a hill station in the Himalayas in the Vale of Kahsmir; and camels in the Sahara Desert near Cairo.  She was on a water buffalo in Guam "but didn't ride him anywhere."  In India she held a python that coiled itself around her neck. She rode a riverboat down the Congo - the boat stuck on a sandbar and had to be pulled off by a tugboat that was towing a barge.  She has visited every South American country but Paraguay. MIRIAM LOVEDTOTRAVEL!  
    But she loved even more "to come home again."  Her global adventures gave her not only a first-hand experience of the word and its peoples but also a deep appreciation of America and the freedom it offers its citizens; to "think as they want to think, go where they want to go, say what they want to say, do what they want to do, and be what they want to be" a freedom poignantly expressed by a Czechoslavakian man in Prague who said to her "It's wonderful not that you live in America but that you MAY live in America!"  
    In addition to her teaching and traveling, Miriam was active in P.E.O., Order of Eastern Star, and Daughters of the Nile. She held a life membership in the National Education Association and belonged to the American Association of Retired Persons. Miriam also found time for volunteer work at St. Luke's Hospital in Boise. She is survived by her niece, Barbara DeBolt of Boise; nephews Joseph W. and his wife, Barbara Dilley of Soldotna, Alaska; and George and his wife, Betty of Roswell; 11 grandnieces and nephews; 22 great-grandnieces and nephews; and one great-great-grandniece.
    She was preceded in death by her parents, and her brothers, Joseph of Parma and Edgar of Vale. OR.

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