September 21, 2014

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Waushara County Fair Demo Derby

Margaret Alice (Sheahan) Miller Print E-mail

Oct. 17, 1917-May 25, 2014

Margaret Alice (Sheahan) Miller, Town of Warren, Waushara County passed away peacefully at Berlin Memorial Hospital surrounded by her family on the Lord’s Day, Sunday, May 25.

She was born on Oct. 17, 1917 in Montello, to Anna (Boeck) Sheahan and Daniel Sheahan (After Daniel’s death, Anna married Jake Maulson). Margaret was an active and long-time member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church, Redgranite. In the most recent years, she was a faithful member of All Saints Parish in Berlin.

Margaret graduated from Redgranite High School in 1935. While in high school, Margaret was an excellent debater. She was proud to compete at the state capitol in Madison and represent Redgranite in state debate competition. Her state debate medal has been among her treasured keepsakes!

She received a teaching degree from Waushara County Normal School in Wautoma in 1936 and taught grades 1-8 in one room schools for five years at Fargoville School, Record School, and French School. Her students all held a special place in her heart.

Margaret married Arnold Miller on Aug. 22, 1940 at St. Mary’s Parsonage in Dubuque, IA. For the past 73 years they made their home on the “Miller Farm” in the Town of Warren and Margaret resided there until the present time.

For many years while her children were young, Margaret was a devoted mother and homemaker. Later she worked as an inspector at Realist Incorporated in Berlin (David White) for over 20 years until her retirement in 1981.  Margaret’s co-workers were dear friends and family to her, none more so than her dearest friend Gloria Schultz. She was fondly called “Rotten Grandma” by her younger Realist co-workers.

Although retirement was a difficult decision for Margaret because she so enjoyed her work at Realist, she nevertheless decided it was time to be at home full-time on the beloved “Farm”.  This decision enabled her grandchildren to come for more farm visits and summer vacations with their “Grandma and Grandpa on the Farm”.

Each morning Margaret faithfully began her day with prayers from her homemade book of prayers. Her litany of prayers for others was a long and special one. Margaret would then sit for hours and write letters and address cards to family and friends (a hobby her mother Anna so enjoyed). No birthday card was ever complete without one of Margaret’s colorful balloons tucked inside.

Margaret loved planting her flowers each spring. She turned the farm into a “wonderland of flowers “as she carefully planted and then lovingly tended her flower beds.  Her geraniums and petunias were favorites as were the “Dusty Millers” she faithfully planted each year.

Margaret enjoyed writing poetry and wrote many special poems about her family, her friends, special memories and “The Farm”.  A special event in the Miller family was almost always celebrated with one of Margaret’s poems. Margaret was especially happy when one of her poems, “Grandma’s Retirement” was published in Famous Poets of the Heartland.

Margaret crocheted many beautiful afghans, pillows, and dolls; she ever so gently filled each stitch with love for her family.  Her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren were all blessed to be wrapped in her “baby afghans of love”.

For many years, Margaret was a spoon collector and proudly displayed her spoons on the spoon racks her husband Arnold made out of wood. Although Margaret never traveled too far from home, her grandchildren always made certain they brought a treasured spoon home from their travels around the country and the world.  Grandma loved the spoons they brought her and enjoyed the travel stories the grandchildren would share with her.

As the family historian she created many “Family Albums”.  Her excellent memory for dates and events allowed her to fill each album with wonderful stories, photos and facts of the Miller and Sheahan families. Her albums are treasures of love, which will help future generations to know and appreciate their family roots.

Margaret loved nothing better than to have her children and the” grand’s” and “greats” visit “The Farm!”  Her refrigerator was always stocked with popsicles and her kitchen cupboards always filled with goodies.

Thanksgiving was unforgettable with dozens of pies and Christmas on “The Farm” was filled with countless red bows, cookies and presents. She donned “bunny ears” at Easter and made certain that Easter Bunny always left more than enough eggs for all to find. Margaret joined the family on the wagon for many hayrides and she prided herself on being able to kick up her leg and touch her toes well into her late eighties!

Each payday would find grandma bringing home a toy Tonka Truck to add to the farm collection.  Her morning tea parties with the grandchildren were such fun as she sat in “Old Blue” and sipped farm coffee and giggled with them. The farm driving lessons she gave her grandchildren (long before they were sixteen) have always been a special “grandma memory” to be treasured.

Margaret and Arnold worked side by side for over 73 years on the fourth generation farm. Although there were many lean times and difficult times over the years, their children were never aware of it.  Margaret and Arnold gave their children the greatest gift a child could ever need …. The gift of love.  They created a home filled with love for each other and for God.  They dedicated their lives to preserving “The Farm” as a place of welcome and love, for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

During the past several years, life became much quieter on the farm for Margaret. Although her once remarkable memory had faded, she continued to enjoy each day. No longer able to do her hobbies of earlier years, she continued to enjoy sipping her coffee as she watched the many birds frequent the farm feeders. She looked forward to opening letters from family and friends, and receiving phone calls from loved ones.

Margaret’s greatest joy, however, were the “Farm Visitors” who would come to sit and chat for a while. During the last three months, she was richly blessed by frequent visits from her newest great-grandchild. What a joy it was to see the oldest and the youngest member of the Miller family chatting together and sharing smiles with one another!  It was a beautiful reminder of the “circle of life” God has richly blessed our family with.

Whether she was called Margaret or Mom, Grandma on the Farm or Granny -- Great Grams, GG, Great Grandma, or Auntie Muggs, she was dearly loved by all those who knew her.

She is survived by three children: Arnold D. (Margaret) Miller, Waupaca, Daniel (Judith) Miller, Neenah, and Nancy (Bill) Jodarski, Appleton; 10 grandchildren: Deanna (Brad) Gregorius, Neenah, Tess (Dan) Lenz, Neenah, Daniel (Melissa) Miller, Neenah, Steve Miller, Neenah, Lisa (Chad) Brock, Hilliard, FL, Christine (Ben) Nixdorf, Chicago, IL, Brad (Amy) Jodarski, Oshkosh, Billie Jo (Chad) Hunstiger, Appleton, Dr. Melissa (Kyle) Stoffel, Kronenwetter, and Ashley (Chris) Panici, Appleton; 22 great-grandchildren: Taylor, Hannah and Hayley Johnson, Thad Kraus, Cody and Tanner Lenz, Landan and Laynee Miller, Sammy and Hazel Nixdorf, Evan, Trevor and Trenton Brock, Parker, Cade and Granger Hunstiger, Davin, Treve and Pacyn Stoffel, Braelee and Rhett Jodarski, and Ryker Panici. She is also survived by many special nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Arnold A. Miller; parents: Daniel and Anna (Boeck) Sheahan; step-father: Jake Malson; sisters: Dorothy (Sheahan) Sobieski and Annabelle (Sheahan) Nighbor; brother: Louis Sheahan; brother-in-laws: Thomas Sobieski, Roman Nighbor, and Carl Kwidzinski; sister-in-law: Alice (Booth) Sheahan; goddaughter and niece: Patsy Otto; and nephew: Robert and Diane Sobieski.

Visitation was held on Thursday, May 29, and Friday, May 30 at the Wiecki-Skipchak Funeral Home, Berlin. The Funeral with the Mass of Christian Burial was held May 30 at the All Saints Catholic Church of Berlin with the Rev. Jerome Maksvytis officiating. A burial followed beside her beloved husband Arnold at the Saint Marks Catholic Cemetery of Redgranite. A memorial has been established in her memory by the family. Online condolences may be sent to wieckiskipchak This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Thank you mom for a lifetime of love.

You will forever be in our hearts!


An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face, may the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


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