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Marie Wynne Miller

August 30, 1924—October 16, 2021

Marie Wynne Miller, 97, died peacefully at home of natural causes with loved ones at her side on October 16, 2021. Her life was richly filled with family and friendships.

Marie was born in Sulphur, Oklahoma, to Samuel Berry Wynne and Clara Augusta Smith Wynne. She grew up with five siblings through the challenges of the Depression era. After graduating as Valedictorian from Sulphur High School, where she was President of her class and excelled in Debate, she was offered a secretarial position with the FBI in Washington, D.C. There she met and married Minnesotan Ervin Miller, a Navy Corpsman. Erv was later posted to California, where their first child was born. Following his wartime service in the Pacific, they moved to Wadena, Minnesota, where their second daughter was born. When Erv was offered a position in the Mayo Clinic’s Medical Photography department, they settled in Rochester, where their family grew with the addition of four more children.

Bringing up the family was the focus of Marie’s life for many years. When the children were all in school she started working part-time as a medical transcriptionist at the Olmsted Medical Group, and later as Office Manager at TSP Engineering. When their offspring had completed their educations, Marie and Erv both returned to the pursuit of their college degrees, graduating from Winona State University. At the age of 75, Marie wore the golden braid of summa cum laude . This led to another career as a Montessori teacher, congruent with her love of children.

Marie Miller enjoyed gardening, flowers, coffee, poetry, picnics, bicycling, and playing bridge. She welcomed international students and immigrants from many countries, including American Field Service daughter, Daisy Subakti. She was an ardent peace activist and seeker of racial justice, and a founder of the People’s Food Co-op. After growing up Methodist, she became a committed Unitarian Universalist. She took up quilting, creating a hand-made quilt for each of her eight grandchildren. Her love of poetry was a thread woven throughout her entire life. She was a natural beauty at every age.

Marie Wynne Miller was pre-deceased by her husband, Ervin W. Miller, and their daughter, Debra Miller Sharabi. She is survived by five children: Karen Miller, Kristen Aliotti, Diane Miller, Chuck Miller, Margo Miller, and sons-in-law Zoran Malesevic and Nazmi Sharabi, eight grandchildren: Lexie Aliotti, Elisabeth Antos (Sean), Andrew Sharabi (Liz Weihe), Safa Sharabi, Graham Durall (Cori Jo), Drew Miller, Frederic Malesevic, and John Malesevic, and six great-grandchildren: Teddy Antos, Margo Antos, Alivia Durall, Grayson Durall, Alex Sharabi, and Will Sharabi. She was a beloved aunt, great aunt, and honorary grandmother to her larger extended family and dear friends.

The family is grateful for excellent medical care from Mayo.

Memorial gifts may be given to her church or the Rochester Public Library.

A Memorial Celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, December 11th at 2 PM, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church. Capacity is limited to family and invited guests, with live streaming on the congregation’s YouTube channel, “First UU Church.”

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