Marjorie J. Miller, age 98, passed away on Friday morning August 12, 2022, at Choice One Care Assisted Living in Kent, Washington.
Marjorie Jane Miller was born on August 24, 1923 in Clintonville, Wisconsin, daughter to the late Max & Merle (Overton) Stieg. Max was the founder and President of Dairyman’s State Bank, so as a young girl she would often accompany her father on his friendly weekend visits to his farmer customers which also served as a stratagem to enable him to make sure those farms were being well run.
Marge graduated from Clintonville High School in 1941. Because she spent most summers in the Clintonville area, she was able to attend all 75 class reunions. At that time, the remaining class members decided travel was becoming difficult and ended the tradition.
Since her father strongly supported education for everyone, even girls, she went on to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison Mead Witter School of Music. Marjorie was united in marriage to Edward “Boone” Miller in Clintonville, on August 5, 1944 during the summer of her junior year. Edward was then sent overseas to the Philippines for 18 months during WWII, so Marge was able to return to Madison to finish her Bachelor of Music degree in 1945 with a double major in voice and organ. After graduation she spent a year at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. “Westminster” provided the chorus for all choral/orchestral works for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, providing Marjorie the opportunity to sing under three famous conductors in Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and Radio City Music Hall.
Once Edward returned, and earned his law degree in Madison, the couple moved to Evanston, Illinois where he worked in the Chicago area for the next 25 years. While there, in addition to being a devoted mother, Marjorie directed the Junior Choir for the local Congregational Church and founded a folk group called “The Folk Chorale.” They performed locally and eventually produced an LP album which was recorded at the Universal Studios in Chicago. She also went back to school to learn how to weld, and later became interested in working with clay as a potter, which she continued to do for more than 35 years. Edward and Marjorie were divorced in 1969.
When she moved to Issaquah, Washington in 1978, she set up her ceramics studio in her house, and crafted large artistic water fountain pieces that were sometimes two to three feet in height. She also joined and became active in the American Association of University Women, where she served as president of the Issaquah branch for four years. Marjorie loved to read and was heavily involved in the AAUW book club until it disbanded due to Covid-19 concerns.
In order to stay close to her two grandchildren in the area, for about 3 years she was a teacher for toddlers 2 and 3 years old at the Auburn, Washington Montessori School. And on the weekends she would cook a magnificent dinner for her daughter’s family on either a Saturday or Sunday night. Those dinners would become a tradition for about 25 years, and include her son’s daughter when she moved to the Seattle area.
The family always enjoyed spending part or all of their summers at a cottage on Pine Lake of the Cloverleaf Lakes. In the early years they would be spent for a couple of weeks at her folks’ cottage, and then in 1959 in the middle of winter Ed and Marge purchased a cottage for themselves. From then on her entire summer would be spent at the lake enjoying swimming, canoeing, sailing, and waterskiing. She was an excellent cook and loved providing conversation, laughter, and food for her guests, accommodating anyone who would come through her door.
She is survived by her:
Brother: Richard (Marilyn) Stieg, Boulder, CO
Sisters-in-law: Ellie Stieg, Crawfordsville, IN & Rae Stieg, Charlotte, NC
Children: Barbara (Clayton) Anderson, Kent, WA; Ellen (Robert) Gerkens, North Topsail Beach, NC; Elizabeth (Joe) Lawhun, Berkeley, CA; & Thomas (Beverly) Miller, Arlington Heights, IL
8 grandchildren, & 6 great-grandchildren
She was preceded in death by her parents; and her brothers, Bernard, Robert, William, & John Stieg.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Christ Congregational United Church of Christ, Clintonville, with the Rev. Jill Meyer officiating. Interment will take place at Graceland Cemetery, Clintonville, following the service.
Visitation will be held on Saturday at the church from 9:30 AM until the time of service.
The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting the family with arrangements.
An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.