Merle Stone MillerMerle Stone Miller, age 86, of Union Lake near Erskine, Minnesota, and a former longtime Crookston, Minnesota resident, died Saturday afternoon, January 8, 2011, in the Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, with her loving family at her side.
Merle Stone Miller
Merle Stone Miller, age 86, of Union Lake near Erskine, Minnesota, and a former longtime Crookston, Minnesota resident, died Saturday afternoon, January 8, 2011, in the Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, with her loving family at her side.
Merle was born in Crookston on July 31, 1924, and was the daughter of Walter Powell Stone and Alice (Lee) Stone. She grew up in Crookston and was a graduate of Central High School. Merle went on to attend the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Music, which was followed by a Masters Degree she received from Columbia University in New York City. She taught for two years in the St. Cloud, Minnesota public school system, and was in charge of the high school string orchestra and pop string programs. She next taught in the Northern Iowa University Music Department at Cedar Falls, Iowa before coming back to Crookston to teach orchestra at Central High School and also give private lessons. On December 26, 1950 Merle was united in marriage to Kenneth Miller at Crookston. Ken served with the U.S. Army and Merle was able to join him as he was stationed at Ft. Smith, Arkansas, Aberdeen, Maryland, and with the occupation forces in Germany. While they were in Germany Merle taught remedial English to the G.I.'s. After Ken's honorable discharge from the Army he and Merle returned to their farm, near Crookston. Merle once again headed the string orchestra program for the school system, a position she held until her retirement as a very distinguished music educator. For many years Merle played with the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra and also spent time as the Orchestra's concertmaster. During these years she encouraged several of her students to play with the Orchestra as well.
Merle was a faithful member of the First Presbyterian Church in Crookston where she directed the choir for many years, served on the Board of Deacons, belonged to the ladies aid, and had most recently started a quilting group. She assisted in the organization of the Habitat for Humanity, and was quite proud of the way the program had grown and developed. She was a 55 year member of the P.E.O., and a longtime member of the Women's Club, where she held several leadership positions. She was a devoted wife to Ken for 60 years; a loving mother and wonderful mother-in-law; a doting grandmother to her 7 grandchildren; a special great-grandmother to Natalie Marie Miller (age 2 1/2, daughter of Alex and Laurie Miller), a faithful sister; and a fun-loving aunt. Throughout her life she was a dedicated church member, committed violin teacher, and friend to many.
Whether known as Merle, Mom, Grandma Miller, GG Miller (great-grandma), or simply as Mrs. Miller…" you were welcomed into heaven on that Saturday by Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, and we will be celebrating your life with our words, thoughts and deeds, forever. We love you."
Merle leaves her husband, Ken Miller Sr. of Erskine, MN; 3 children, Ken Miller Jr. and spouse, Linda Baylis Miller, of Eden Prairie, MN, Janna Miller Rennich of Eden Prairie, and Julie Miller Money and spouse, Craig Money, of High Point, NC; 7 grandchildren, Loren Kenneth Miller (Elizabeth Ann Miller), Alex Lee Miller (Laurie Ann Miller), Elizabeth Miller Hunten (Jon-Paul Hunten), Nicholas Powell Rennich (Jessica Roth), Austin David Rennich, Lee Ross Hammarback (Megan Hammarback), and John Andrew Hammarback; a great-granddaughter, Natalie Marie Miller; 2 sisters, Norma Stone Lewis of Seattle, WA and Margaret Stone Harris (Fred Harris) of Bovey, MN; and several nieces, nephews, and other family members. Merle is preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Alice Stone; a sister, Shirley Stone Ager; brother-in-law, Glen Lewis; a nephew, Scott Ager; and all of her aunts and uncles. May God bless the memory of Merle Stone Miller.
The Celebration Service for Merle S. Miller will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, January 17, 2011, in the First Presbyterian Church, Crookston, Minnesota, with The Rev. Daniel Wolpert, officiating.
Memorials may be given in Merle's name to the First Presbyterian Church or The Merle Miller CHS Orchestra Fund of Crookston High School.