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Harlean Kay “Tiki” Miller, age 77, of Kansas City, Missouri, formerly of Marion, Illinois, passed away at her home surrounded by family on Monday, August 31, 2015, after a short battle with cancer.
Tiki was born January 17, 1938, in Dowell, Illinois, the daughter of George and Daphne (Bradley) Wolfe. After graduation from high school in Mount Vernon, Illinois, in 1955, she attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, earning an Associates Degree in 1957.
Tiki returned to Southern Illinois where she continued her education earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education (Home Economics) and a Masters Degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
Tiki married Charles Miller in 1959. They made their home in Marion, Illinois, for 52 years where they raised two children, Lori and David. Tiki taught at Marion High School for 29 years and worked 10 years for the Williamson County Vocational System. Tiki lived a full and blessed life. She was devoted to her family, church, profession and community. Tiki dedicated her life to helping others by generously sharing her time and talents.
Tiki was an avid reader. She loved to cook, sew, garden, and play golf. She and her husband enjoyed ballroom dancing. Tiki loved having her family together to celebrate birthdays, holidays and special occasions. She will be remembered for always having a beautifully decorated home for each season.
She was a member of Community of Christ Church where she taught Sunday School and children’s bible study. While living in Illinois, she devoted time as a leader for the Marion Hospital Foundation board, Hands of Hope free clinic, Lioness Club, Garden Club and Clio Club. She volunteered to work at the Marion Ministerial Alliance soup kitchen and cooked meals at the Lighthouse Shelter.
Tiki was recognized several times for her exemplary service to education and her community. In 1993, she received The Edmund W. Phelps Award in recognition for her years of service to high school Student Councils on the local, district, state and national level with The Illinois Association. In 2000, The Greater Marion Area Chamber of Commerce presented Tiki with the Award of Excellence in Service to Healthcare. In 2007, Tiki received the Mayor’s Service Award in recognition of citizenship, service and dedication to the people and the community of Marion, Illinois.
The Southern Business Journal recognized Tiki in 2009 as a “Leader Among Us” in recognition of her contributions to making the Southern Illinois Region a better place to work. She was also recognized by WSIL TV 3 as an “Unsung Hero” for community service.
After moving to Kansas City in 2012 to be close to her children and grandchildren, Tiki spent quality time watching her grandchildren’s sporting events and school activities. She also continued her service to her church and community including the Raytown Emergency Assistance Program and Hope House.
Tiki is preceded by: parents, George & Daphne Wolfe; step-mother, Maxine Wolfe; her mother & father-in-law, J. Lee & Bess Miller; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Barton and JoAnne Wolfe. Survivors include: husband of 56 years, Charles, of the home; daughter & son-in-law, Lori & Curtis Martin, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; son & daughter-in-law, David & Tani Miller, Blue Springs, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Alex Martin, Kelsi Martin and fiance’ Brandon Bennett, Brady Martin, Ryanne Carlson and her husband Nathan, Kaylee Tabor and her husband Kirk, Taryn Miller and fiance’ Nate Cochran, Kai Miller; brother, Jerry Wolfe and his wife Betty; daughter “of her heart”, Pam Speers Carter; five nieces, one nephew; and many loving cousins, family and friends.