Marilyn Ann Miller, 63, of La Grande, died on May 29 in the log home her husband built her, while surrounded by her family.
She was born on June 14, 1946, in Burns at Valley View Hospital to Lee and Irene Reed. The Reed family were part of the original pioneers who helped settle Harney Valley.
Miller grew up in Burns where she enjoyed the outdoors and spent time with her father on hunting and fishing trips.
She and her family were active members of the Burns Baptist Church. She worked at her parent’s store, Reed Office and Supply.
Miller graduated from Burns Union High School in 1964. She was a member of the Burns High School band in which she played the flute. She had the leading part in the high school play her senior year and was a National Honor Society member.
After high school she moved to Portland and attended Portland Dental Assistant School, graduating in 1965. That summer she married Verl E. Miller, her high school sweetheart.
The family moved to Provo, Utah, where first son, Verl C. Miller was born in 1966. Upon her husband’s graduation, the family moved to Edwards Air Force Base in California for her husband’s first teaching position. Their second son, Thad Lee Miller was born in 1969 at nearby Lancaster Hospital.
Miller and her family returned to Oregon where her husband taught in The Dalles for two years, and then ultimately to La Grande in 1973. Miller worked in the lab at the Grande Ronde Hospital for over 15 years, and later went back and obtained her real estate license, finishing with an exceptional career as a real estate agent in her continuing pursuit to help others.
For over 28 years, Miller volunteered much of her time to support the La Grande Wrestling Program, contributing to the success of many young men over the years. Miller’s exceptional work ethic, care, respect and love for others brought her close to many parents, wrestlers and clients as her giving spirit held no bounds. She continued in her real estate career and volunteer work until she was diagnosed with cancer in 2006.
Miller loved nothing more than spending time with her family, grandchildren and friends. Her lab employment with Grande Ronde Hospital started at 4:30 a.m. and it was not uncommon for her to travel long distances to support her grandchildren’s school and athletic events. She enjoyed planning out and being involved in birthday parties and holidays for those she loved. After her husband’s retirement, she enjoyed taking long drives around Northeast Oregon to take in the beautiful scenery and took several vacations.
Miller is survived by her husband Verl, of La Grande; sister, Brenda Whitsell of Gallatin Tenn., sons Verl and Thad Miller of Sherwood; cousins, Debbie Branson of Springfield and Deanna Brenner of Vancouver Wash.; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services were held on June 5 in La Grande. Internment was at Grandview Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Miller’s memory may be made to the La Grande High School Wrestling, in care of Klel Carson, 62019 Starr Lane, La Grande, OR 97850. Make checks to La Grande High School Wrestling.