By Tony Parra
W.F. and Bettie Miller have been a staple in the community and they have been chosen as Pioneer of the Year award candidates.
The award will be given at 5 p.m. tonight at the Memorial Building to headline the start of Heritage Days. Bettie said combined, the two have lived in Portales for 127 years.
“I consider it an honor to be nominated,” Bettie said. “I consider my parents to be pioneers. My folks are who I consider settlers of this area.”
Bettie said her parents moved to the border of Roosevelt and Curry County lines. Bettie said her and her older sister used to walk more than a mile every morning to be able to catch the bus to the Portales schools.
Bettie was born in Roosevelt County, only a few feet away from Curry County. She said the farm she was born on was on Roosevelt and Curry counties.
W.F. was nine years old when he moved to Portales. W.F. began a trucking business in 1937 and worked for 45 years in the business. W.F.’s trucking business was responsible for delivering fruits and vegetables.
W.F. and his second wife, Bettie, began a house rental business in Portales. Bettie was also a teacher and librarian for Portales High School.
The Millers are avid travelers and have traveled over 130,000 miles.
Bettie worked for Portales High School for 22 1/2 years. Bettie was active in the community as she worked for civic and educational organizations during her time in Portales. She was inducted into the Southwest Education Hall of Fame in May of 1989.
“I worked closely with kids,” Bettie said. “I was part of a group, which raised money to buy a computer for the library. I was one of the first librarians to have a computer keep holdings.”
A stroke she suffered has not set her back, as she continues to use the computer to write her memoirs and a poetry book, titled “God Looks Out for Country Girls Like Me”.
“It’s difficult for her to write, but she doesn’t let her condition stop her,” Dianne Davis, her daughter, said. “My mother endowed a scholarship to Eastern. He’s (W.F.) a real hard worker and an honest man.”