Printer Friendly Email a Friend PDF RSS Feed

Dynamic Chiropractic – December 6, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 25

Texas Chiropractor -- One of 24 Slain in Tragedy

In Memory of Connie Peterson-Miller, D.C.

By Steve Kelly, managing editor
Dr. Connie Peterson-Miller had the extreme misfortune of choosing to eat lunch at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas on October 16, 1991. The Austin resident was one of 24 people killed when a maniac by the name of Georges Hennard drove his Ford pickup truck through Luby's front plate glass window and calmly and methodically began shooting defenseless men and women.

Two other chiropractors, Drs. Sid Isdale and Suzanna Gratia also were present at Luby's during the slayings. Dr. Isdale and his wife Jeanne met their son Shawn and his wife Tina at the cafeteria. Tina had brought along Sommer, their three month old baby.

Dr. Suzanna Gratia, a friend of Dr. Isdale was accompanied by her parents, Al and Ursula Gratia.

When the pickup truck broke through the window, Dr. Isdale remembered thinking, "This looks like a chase scene...this is a crazy place and time to be making a movie."

The Isdales saw Hennard shooting even before he got out of the truck. The family huddled under several table and could see from their vantage point Hennard's semiautomatic pistol held at his side.

During the massacre, the gunman shot and killed the parents of Dr. Gratia.

"We were next in line," said Jeanne Isdale. "He was coming towards our table."

At that point a back window of Luby's was smashed, distracted Hennard long enough to allow the entire Isdale family and some others to flee the cafeteria.

The police arrived moments later, wounding Hennard; Hennard then shot himself in the nose and died at the scene.

Dr. Connie Peterson-Miller Remembered

Connie is survived by her husband, David Miller; two children, O'Neal, age seven and Hahja, age 4; her mother, Mrs. Inez Peterson; her father, Colonel Hartwin Peterson; and brothers, Dr. Arthur Peterson, and Dr. Hart Peterson.

Dr. Peterson-Miller graduated from Texas Chiropractic College in 1981 and practiced in Northwest Austin with her brother, Dr. Hart Peterson.

Always eager to expand her knowledge and keep current on the latest treatment techniques, Dr. Peterson-Miller was one of an elite group of chiropractors to be certified as chiropractic consultants. She attended classes in Austin for two years through Texas Chiropractic College and the Texas Chiropractic Association.

Connie managed to find time to volunteer her talents by adjusting AIDS' patients at the Immune Center. She traveled to several national environmental meetings and contributed to many of these programs. She was a recent convert of Catholicism and active in church activities.

Dr. Breazeale remembers Connie as a loving and devoted mother with a zest for living, whose love and compassion for others was evident. Her last act before being shot was to comfort an older woman standing beside her in the serving line at Luby's.

"We shall always remember her gentle spirit, her healing decorum, her beauty, her grace, and her loving smile," Dr. Breazeale said.

Scholarship Fund Begun

A special scholarship started by her colleagues at the Travis County Chiropractic Society and supported by her classmates, colleagues, and friends, has been established at Texas Chiropractic College. Tax deductible contributions may be sent to:

The Dr. Connie Peterson-Miller Scholarship Fund
c/o Ms. Billie Duncan
Texas Chiropractic College Scholarship Fund
5912 Spencer Highway
Pasadena, Texas 77505

Steve Kelly
assistant editor

To report inappropriate ads, click here.