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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.
Marcia Miller Tambellini says
Blessings of Love & Encouragement to the family from the entire Miller family on the passing of Mrs. Miller.
Bruce & Teena Mayhew says
Prayers and condolences to the Miller family. Tiki was a wonderful person and she will be greatly missed.
marge ryan says
My God comfort you with wonderful memories and love at this time.
Laurie Kindred Christ says
She was my favorite teacher my senior year. She was always kind and understanding. She will be missed.
Gayle Feurer Miller Ernsting says
Charles, Lori, and David….I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My heart aches for all of you. Bless your hearts!
LaDina Fletcher Foster says
Mrs Miller was my clothing teacher for 3 years. She was an amazing teacher and role model. She taught so well that it brought out the positive and creativeness in everyone, even those who didn’t think they could. She knew me as the student who she had to raise her grading scale because I was never done sewing. I loved her dearly and have missed her a bunch. I will miss that contagious smile.
Prayers for your family.
LaDina Fletcher Foster
Mary Smith says
I fondly remember her beautiful smile. She lit up the halls at school. Wonderful woman who did great things for many. Prayers to her family.
Dana Forbes says
So sad to hear of Tiki’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you all.
VICKI CROFT says
I was so sorry to hear of Mrs. Miller’s passing. She was my rock thru high school. She was the best teacher I ever had and I’m sure she will be missed by many. May you have many good memories of her to help you get thru this time, I know I have many. Again, I am so sorry for your loss.
Amy Duncan says
Mrs. Miller was a great teacher. I loved having her in sewing class. Praying for her family.
Keith B. Graves says
peace and love to the Miller family. I always remember her smile and wonderful personality. One more smile gone from this world.
Kathi Kibler says
What a gift she was.
Amanda Byassee Gott says
Such a great teacher and outstanding example of how to serve your community. Deepest condolences to her family.
Kim (Graves) Kleine says
As I read this notification, all I could say is “oh no”. What a radiant smile gone from earth. Prayers for peace and comfort to all of your family. Her lovely presence is fondly remembered.
Leroya Hodge Sokol says
I am so sorry. May Our Lord’s presence give you strength and comfort beyond all understanding. I had Mrs Miller for at least one class every semester on High School. She was a living example of Christ’s teachings. She spoke to us as if we mattered. She taught us skills that I use every day. Most people don’t realize she took what we were learning in our other classes and showed us how to incorporate the knowledge into our future lives: finances, investments, homes, clothing, draperies, nutrition, color, textures, quality. I will always remember her wisdom, grace and kindness.
Jan Cloud Korzenaskie says
So sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful teacher, kind and friendly always.
Mel & Gerry Roustio says
Our deepest sympathy. May wonderful precious memories always remain.
Stephanie Kilbourn says
Keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
Danell & Vern Lemasters says
Our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Miller’s Family. What a wonderful teacher she was. I truly always enjoyed my sewing class with her. I’d see her in the Marion area after I graduated & she always had that beautiful smile & always had a kind word to say. What a wonderful lady she was & a blessing to all! May great memories give you comfort!
Dennis Mayer says
God’s blessings and comfort to you and your family at this time.
Norma Harrison says
Prayers and condolences to the Ticki’s family– I knew Ticki thru Emmaus — she was an awesome Christian woman who had a zest for life- gave kindness to all- I am a better person to have been blessed to know her
Cindy and Terry Blakemore says
Charlie and his family are in our hearts and prayers. We feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to know Tiki. She was a wonderful neighbor and had such a sweet, kind spirit. She will be greatly missed by all of us in Teetering Rocks!
Leva Long says
She was an amazing teacher and person! She would keep you going when you wanted to give up. I loved every moment she shared either at school or helping at her house! She will always stay close to my heart. My thoughts and condolences to her family, you lost a very special woman.
Sherry Dailey says
So very sorry to hear of the loss of Tiki. She was one of my favorite customers and she was always dropping in the Bag Lady shop. I was happy for her moving closer to her kids and grandchildren. You did so much for the community and touched so many lives. You will be deeply missed. May God give your family and friends comfort during this difficult time.
Gary & Karin Turnbull says
Charles we will be praying that God give you and your family peace in the passing of Tiki.
Maggie Chase says
Tiki was a beautiful lady, always smiling and kind to all. She was a wonderful volunteer at REAP. She will be missed!
Kay Miller says
Sorry to hear of Tiki’s passing. She was a wonderful caring person to my parents, Oscar and Jeanette Dean. She gave Mom a place to stay when Dad was in the VA Hospital at Marion. Just one example of the gracious child of God she was.
Bob and Jane Washburn says
To Charles and family,
We only had the pleasure of knowing Tiki for a short period of time. Her vibrant personality will be sorely missed.Our hearts and prayers go out to you, as you journey through this sudden loss.
Bob and Jane Washburn
Teetering Rocks Residents
Shelley Melewski says
What a sad loss for our Teetering Rocks community. She was a lovely person in so many ways.
Randy and Laura Teghtmeyer says
We were so honored to meet this fine woman. I could tell she was an amazingly important person in many lives as they streamed to the hospital to encourage her the days I cared for her at St. Luke’s East. She blessed me with her kind manner though she was troubled because she had to be away from Charlie after his heart surgery. Randy was also touched with the difficult situation in which your family found itself. May God comfort you in your profound loss of such a lovely soul.
“Handy Randy” and
Diana E Miller says
Loved her smile and her attitude, always positive for all she met…may she rest in peace….Our Miller family will keep y’all in our prayers.
Winifred Bryant says
Our thoughts and prayers and love are with you guys at this difficult time. Please don’t hesitate to holler at me should you need me. We will all miss that beautiful shining light that was Tiki.
Love Mike and Winnie