Queen of Houseboats

April 2020 Live

Terry Miller of Houseboats Buy Terry recently passed away on March 23, 2020, leaving a houseboat community and many others to mourn the loss of this amazing person. Known as the Queen of Houseboats, her passion and dedication for houseboating could only be matched by her devotion and the love she had for her family.   

Her journey to the houseboat industry with her husband Tom took a different path than most that included her time as a registered nurse, owning and running multiple Convenient Food Marts, starting a fast food hamburger restaurant called TNT Express (which stood for Tom and Terry) before finally moving to Somerset, Ky., in the summer of 1995.

Terry persuaded the Lees Ford Marina owner to let her help him sell boats, by taking him a dozen donuts each time she saw him. She soon developed a reputation as personable, honest, and followed through with what she said.

The Millers opened "Houseboats Buy Terry" in 2004, a top houseboat brokerage company located at the Conley Bottom Resort. Her passion was boating and helping people and Terry loved helping families find a boat to enjoy lake life with. Her vast knowledge of houseboats helped her be successful as she sold boats nationwide, as well as worldwide.

She enjoyed knitting and giving away dishrags, painting, gardening, and was an excellent cook. This past year she battled not only cancer, but the loss of her office houseboat and pontoon boat she used to show customers boats with, in the devastating Conley Bottom Fire last spring.

Tom, her husband of 41 years, said many didn’t even know she was ill since she continued to work up until the last morning she went back to the hospital. He said even on her worst days she managed to answer customer phone calls and perk up for as long as the conversation took as she managed to smile through the pain and trust God. She was also known for breaking the monotony of registering at doctor offices and hospitals with name, birth date, then adding “And I have 5 grandkids.”

She leaves behind a treasured son-in-law Barry Cooper (Lexington), 3 daughters, Elizabeth Cooper (Lexington), Sarah Miller (Berea), and Katie Miller (Somerset). As well as 5 grandchildren: Henry Cooper, Mallie Lynn Cooper, Ford Cooper all of (Lexington), and Elise Burton and Noah Burton both of (Somerset). She also leaves behind two sweet sisters, Debbie Eversole and her husband Darrell Eversole (Berea) and Tonja Rogers (Mt. Sterling).

She will be sorely missed by all who loved her hugs and infectious smile, including the Houseboat magazine staff that truly appreciated her friendship.

She was laid to rest in a small private ceremony at St. Mildred's, but there will be a celebration of life Mass at St. Mildred's Catholic Church after the Covid-19 threat has passed.

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