Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

Mary Cecilia (Downey) Miller

Mary Cecilia (Downey) Miller, age 74, of Mansfield, died Sunday, June 7, 2020 after a strong courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

Mary was born on April 15, 1946 in Napoleon, Ohio to the late Robert and Patricia (Lawler) Downey. She was a 1960 graduate of St. Augustine School in Napoleon, where the seeds of her love and competence in mathematics were sown and nurtured. Mary was a 1964 graduate of Napoleon High School and a 1968 graduate of The Ohio State University with a major in mathematics and a minor in French. She taught Math at Roy C Start High School in Toledo for six years prior to the birth of her first child. Mary was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. When her last child entered school, she went back to school for her master’s in mathematics from the University of Toledo. It was there that she got reintroduced to the actuarial profession and began the long exam process to become an actuary.

Mary had a lifetime of service to others. In her first job teaching at Roy C Start High School she coached both girls bowling and golf intramurals. During her time as a stay-at-home mom she received her master’s degree in mathematics and served on her parish Social Justice Committee. As her children started school, she taught Algebra as a volunteer in their school where she started the school’s first uniform exchange and coached intramural basketball. During the fall season she coached both boys and girls’ cross country at their home parish. Her first actuarial job brought her to Shelby and a position at Lumberman’s in Mansfield. That job eventually moved to North Carolina, but Mary stayed here and got an actuarial position with the State of Ohio where she worked for 16 years before retiring. She earned her membership in the Casualty Actuarial Society and the American Academy of Actuaries while she was still working in Mansfield. She began her volunteer work one committee at a time culminating in serving as a Vice President of both organizations and served on each organization’s Board of Directors. In 2014 she became President of the American Academy of Actuaries. Mary, many times over, received well-deserved recognition for her volunteer work and dedication to her profession. In October of 2019, she traveled to Washington, D.C. to receive The Jarvis Farley Service Award which honors an actuary whose volunteer efforts on behalf of the Academy have made significant contributions to the advancements of the profession. She also traveled to London, Zurich, Merida, and Vancouver but her favorite places to travel were Rogers, AR and Fleming Island, FL to see her growing family of grandchildren.

On June 26, 1999 she married Michael C. Miller and he survives. Also surviving are her children: Laura (Nick) Luchi of Rogers, AR, Robert (Jacqueline) Kroggel of Fleming Island, FL, Susan Kroggel of Indianapolis, IN, James (Jessica Leach) Miller of Fredericktown, OH, and Heather Link of Hudson, OH; grandchildren: Nathan, Megan, and Faith Luchi, Alanna, Juliet, and Grant Kroggel, Dylan and Gabrielle Miller, and Alex Link; siblings: Martha (James) McBennett of Sheffield Lake, OH, Patricia (David) Whitaker of Philadelphia, MS, Ann (Gene) Grime of Napoleon, Katherine (Tony) Phillips of Moorestown, NJ, John (Susan) Downey of Archbold, OH, Robert (Jacqueline) Downey of Columbus, and Tim (Pam) Downey of Napoleon; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Mary was preceded in death by her parents.

Friends and family are welcomed on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 4 pm until the time of the Rosary service at 7 pm at the Penwell Turner Funeral Home, 168 West Main Street, Shelby, OH 44875. Additionally, visitation will be held on Thursday, June 11, 2020 from 4 pm until the time of the Rosary service at 7 pm at Walker-Hoening Mortuary, 333 W Main Street, Napoleon, Ohio 43545. Funeral mass will be celebrated Friday, June 12, 2020 at 10:30 am at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 210 E Clinton St, Napoleon, OH 43545. Father Chris Mileski, Pastor of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Shelby, will officiate and burial will follow in the parish cemetery.

Due to the current COVID-19 circumstances, both the family and the funeral home wish that everyone remains safe. Therefore, we ask that visitors be mindful of current restrictions, wear masks when visiting, and pay respects appropriately and promptly, without lingering.

Gifts in Mary Miller’s memory may be made to the Ovarian Cancer Research and Education in Gynecology Fund (#312187) at The James Cancer Hospital, P.O. Box 183112, Columbus, Ohio 43218 or online at

Appropriate ways to express sympathy for those unable to attend may be done by leaving an online condolence at or by leaving a comment on Mary’s obituary on the funeral home’s Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Kathy Snyder says:

    I was blessed to have known Mary as a friend and a fellow volunteer. Sending my love and hugs to Robert and the rest of her family. She loved you all very much.

  2. Rick & Hoilyn McKibben says:

    To all of the Downey-Miller family, our sincerest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you!

  3. Mary Frances Miller says:

    Mary was an inspiration. Her strong Faith was mirrored in her every act, and her commitment to service and professionalism shone through in all of her volunteer positions. She was filled with joy, and I shall miss her terribly. I will also think of her each time I check into a hotel and they won’t have mistaken me for her and canceled one of our reservations. My sincere condolences to her family.

  4. Janet Kehres says:

    Mary was a wonderful person. She is at peace now because she is in heaven looking down on her loving family. Thoughts and prayers are with you. She fought a good battle.

  5. Will Davis says:

    To Mary’s large and loving family, as well as her many friends and colleagues, I extend sincere condolences. We were peers for a short time as regulatory actuaries, where she became a long-distance mentor to me. At a conference in AZ, she and a small group of others would wake me at 5am for hiking. She was already fighting cancer at the time, and she was tough!

    Mary had a practical approach to her actuarial work, and she was fair-minded. She was respected by both professional ally and foe alike. Mary set a pretty high bar. She was tough and gentle, depending upon the circumstances, and our profession is a better one because of her influence.

  6. Greg Beaulieu says:

    I am fortunate to have known and worked with Mary over the course of two decades. I can’t think of Mary without immediately thinking of the words ‘fair-minded’, ‘steadfast’, ‘dedicated’ and ‘helpful’. Her love of and respect for our profession was deep. Mary gave me a perspective on our profession that I never could have achieved or appreciated on my own. Over the years, when I have faced dilemmas, I have often seen a way out by asking myself ‘what would Mary do in this situation?’ Mary’s patience and guidance have made me a better actuary and a better person.

  7. Mary Hosford says:

    So sorry to know that Mary succumbed finally to this terrible disease but at the same time relieved that she suffers no longer. I had many “fellow insurance regulator” conversations with Mary over the years, and will miss our mutual eyeball rolling! She was, as my brother would say, “a pistol” – direct and tough with the carriers, but always fair. Condolences to her many loved ones.

  8. Steve Jokerst says:

    I first met Mary when I was a college student considering being an actuary. Both of us being from Crawford County, Ohio, I think Mary felt obligated to spend the good part of a day discussing with me the exam process and typical day of a property/casualty actuary. Throughout my career, our paths crossed many times. A past president of the American Academy of Actuaries, she was a frequent speaker at actuarial events. The actuarial profession has benefited from her knowledge and high ethical standards and I feel privileged to have known her. My condolences go out to her family.

  9. Forrest Faison says:

    I am so sorry to hear of her passing. I am a friend of Heather’s. You all are in my thoughts and prayers for peace during this difficult time. Our memories of loved ones are God’s gift to us that they will be with us always.

  10. Kevin Rupp says:

    My brother, Jeff, and Mary were such good work friends. I found myself working with both of them at the Ohio Department of Insurance. After being introduced, Mary and I had this ongoing joke that she graduated high school in the same year I was born. She was such a good sport that she brought it up most of the time. More importantly, though, Mary was a beautiful person. I wish I could travel to give my respects, but I feel almost helpless under the circumstances. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for the family, and I mean that. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.


    My first encounter with Mary was at LMI as the company contact for actuarial issues while under examination. Years later she will join the Ohio Department of Insurance and we would reconnect. A great mentor, friend and confidant. Mary was fair, honest and transparent! She reminded me often about finding the good in people. Our common faith was the basis for a 25 year friendship! My last visit with Maureen and Tom was memorable! I wonder what your perspective would be with the current conditions in our country? Mary, Mary the ACTUARY, I will miss you! Rest Well My Friend!

  12. Michael Lamb says:

    Very saddened to hear of Mary passing. I was her counterpart in Oregon for several years. Her depth of perception in regulatory dilemmas was more than helpful many times over. She was one of our best.

  13. David Christhilf says:

    Will miss seeing Mary at our NAIC meetings. I loved her humor, her intelligence and her desire to strengthen the actuarial profession. Job well done Mary. Rest in peace.

  14. Jan Grieser Stover says:

    I would like to extend my sincere condolences to the entire Miller and Downey families. So sorry for your loss.

  15. Cindy Heidlebaugh says:

    I mainly knew Mary from playing golf in two golf leagues with her! She was such an avid golfer (very good too)and golf enthusiast and it was always a joy to play “a round”with her. She always played in Richland County Women’s Tourney each year and was very supportive in her encouragement for young Women golfers to take up the game. One of my most vivid memory is her physical strength in walking (no push cart or ride cart for Mary – she always carried her clubs on her shoulder) for 18 holes of golf!! Being a few years older than me she definitely motivated me to get in better shape!! We always ended most rounds with a cold beer and talk about golf and life! So Mary – I raise my class to you and say: I so much enjoyed our many passed rounds and greatly missed golfing with you these last few years -as I know how much you missed playing! Your mental strength and positive attitude, especially so evident when I visited you in assisted living was inspiring! What a warrior you were in battling this cancer!! You never gave up the fight!! What a life well lived!! Will miss you but know you are in a much better place now and I am picturing you walking a round of golf! Praying for God’s strength and peace for all your loving family! Til we meet again my friend!!!

    Cindy Heidlebaugh

  16. nancy watkins says:

    I met Mary years ago when we were volunteers together on the COPLFR committee of the American Academy of Actuaries . You wouldn’t think that insurance financial reporting issues could create so much stress and drama, but somehow they did. Through it all, Mary brought a reasonable, calm presence that helped our group show leadership and bring warring, mistrustful parties to consensus. When she had something to say, Mary was the person I wanted to listen to. When attending endless meetings in bleak hotel basement ballrooms, Mary was the person I wanted to sit next to.

    I appreciate the time that I had getting to know and admire Mary, and will miss her immensely.

    To Mary’s family, I extend my sincere condolences for your great loss – Nancy Watkins

  17. Gary Traicoff says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Mary passing away. I worked with her professionally for several years and deeply respected and liked her. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.

  18. Jane Taylor says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Mary’s family. Know that she made a difference.

  19. Anne Kelly says:

    So many fellow regulators have commented here. I was a colleague from New York, and Mary brought so much to the progress we made as regulators. I remember her fairness, practicality, and the unique ability to get non-actuarial regulators to listen to her. And she was a good friend. I will miss you, Mary.

  20. Graeme Schiffer says:

    I remember her as being extremely intelligent and passionate for the actuarial profession. Although I did not ever converse with her face to face, I did exchange numerous emails with her when I was having difficulties with professional issues. At a time when I was considering giving up the actuarial profession, she demonstrated the caring and understanding that I had previously associated with actuaries. She was one of the best.

  21. Paul Vincent Coleman says:

    MARY May you rest in Gods peace.

  22. Pat Teufel says:

    Heartfelt sympathy to the entire Miller and Downey families on Mary’s passing. She was an inspiration to all that she came in contact with. As a woman of faith, she knew the promise of eternal life. I am confident that she has now reached the Alleluia of eternal peace. Her giving spirit, her love of life, her pragmatism and her humor will be remembered fondly by all of us she leaves behind. Mary was the ultimate professional; I was honored to be a colleague.

  23. Mary Jo Hudson says:

    My condolences to Mike and all of Mary’s family and friends on her tremendous loss. She was an amazing person. I was privileged to have worked with Mary and I consider her one of my top advisors, as well as a mentor and friend. Mary was one of the top actuaries in insurance regulation. She understood the intersection of public policy and risk like no other, and she brought level-headed common sense to her work and her advice. Mary was gifted and seeing the big picture, and she could always see through attempts to “pull the wool over our eyes”. She was a dedicated mother, grandmother, spouse, friend, fighter for social justice and overall terrific person. My love to all those whose lives were touched by Mary. Mary Jo Hudson

  24. Gene Connell says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Mary’s friends and family. Mary was a distinguished colleague with whom I worked and volunteered. She and I became good friends over the years and I will miss her terrific advice, insights, and humor.

  25. Steve Johnson says:

    I was an insurance regulator in Pennsylvania for many of years and had the pleasure to work with Mary while she was at the Ohio Department. Mary was one of the great regulatory P&C actuaries I ever worked with. God rest her soul.

  26. Lauren Pachman says:

    Mary was my first volunteer “boss” ever (she was the volunteer in charge of casualty when I started) at the Academy. She carried her teaching skills into her actuarial work, and it benefited everyone around her. A decade later, in my current job, I find myself referring back to what I learned from her all the time. I couldn’t have had a better, stronger, more ambitious woman in my life.

    My heart goes out to Mike and her children and her grandchildren, whom she doted on so fiercely. I don’t know how many NAIC meetings it will take for me to stop looking for her, but her legacy will be there, and in Ohio, and in the hearts of all of us who knew and loved her, forever.

  27. Karen M. Williams says:

    I worked with Mary briefly during my time as an employee at the Academy while she was President and then immediate Past President. I always admired her intelligence, drive, and no nonsense way of getting things done. I have and always will hold her in the highest regard and with the greatest respect. Her light will be sorely missed.

  28. Janet (Stewart) Goad says:

    I was one of the algebra students that Mary taught at Start High School. We reconnected when she was president of the Academy. I had started a second career as a property and casualty actuary after stints as a teacher and as a stay-at-home mom myself. I think we both enjoyed reminiscing about those early years, and we shared the joy of being home with our children followed by a satisfying career in the actuarial field. Know that Mary was much respected by her high school students as an excellent teacher who had an effective rapport with them.

  29. Joe Herbers says:

    Mary was my friend and a mentor and I liked her from the first day we met. Quite simply, she was an inspiring human being and I will miss her.

  30. Joe Petrelli says:

    Praying for peace for Mary. Faith for the future for her loved ones.

    Joe Petrelli

  31. Dawn Fowle says:

    Mary was instrumental in getting me involved with volunteer work with the Academy of Actuaries. I will never forget the time she spent with me answering my every question and encouraging me that even as a “younger” actuary, my contributions would be valued. It was not just her words, but her presence and passion, that impacted me so strongly.

    My sincerest condolences to her friends and family, as I know that the loss of that presence will be felt most strongly by those closest to her.

  32. Michael McRaith says:

    Through the NAIC, Mary provided a great service to insurance regulators outside of Ohio and around the United States. She helped non-actuaries understand complicated and important issues, contributing insights patiently and respectfully. I am grateful to have met and worked with Mary, and to have had the opportunity to learn from her. Condolences to Mary’s family and friends.

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