Fern, Wis. – Agnes V. Miller, 98, of Fern, peacefully accepted comfort in the Lord’s everlasting arms on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, at Golden Living Center in Florence, Wis.
Born Sept. 26, 1914, Agnes was the first of 10 children born to the late Henry and Anna Hansen on their small, first-settler farm carved from the deep woods five miles east of Ingalls, Mich. She assisted with raising her nine younger siblings while her mother worked the family farm and her father was away in lumberjack camps for weeks at a time.
Agnes married Gust Miller of Menominee on Sept. 22, 1936, applying her child-rearing skills to her new family that included five children in Gust’s care from a previous marriage. Seeking a fresh start, the couple moved to Florence where they established and briefly operated a cheese factory before moving to Fence for a short time; then, settling on a farm on the Patten Lake Road in Fern.
Adding six children to the family from their marriage, the couple raised their family of 11 on the farm in Fern where Agnes resided until Gust’s death in 1977. Agnes lived her last years in Florence and most recently resided under the watchful eye of caring staff at the Golden Living Center.
Agnes received greatest satisfaction from service to family, friends, and the community. She was a long-time Sunday school teacher and active member of the Fence Bible Church. She was humbled by the responsibility entrusted to her by friends and neighbors that elected, then re-elected, her many times to serve as treasurer for the Town of Fern.
One of Agnes’ most fulfilling accomplishments was collaboration with her son, Tom to author and publish a book in 1998 titled: “A Ballad Remembered-An Upper Peninsula Childhood.” Written as a legacy for her children and grandchildren, Agnes recounted in her book ordinary events in her early life that provide an unvarnished glimpse at the family’s struggle to survive, and insights into the character and personality of ancestors long since passed away who will never be known by future generations other than through her written words.
The unassuming matriarch of our family leaves us physically, but will remain in our hearts and memories forever. Agnes’ gentle presence will be missed by her stepson, Oscar Miller, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and children, Marlene Fontana, San Diego, Calif., Bonnie LaMar, San Jose, Calif., David Miller, Port Washington, Robert Miller, Germantown, Thomas Miller, Sussex, Rodney (Nancy) Miller, Florence; brother, Chester (Eleanor) Hansen, Kewaunee; sisters, Grace (Norman) Harrison, Fence, Donna Mae Vincent, Sturgeon Bay; and three step-daughters-in law. She also leaves numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Agnes was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Anna (Johnson) Hansen; husband, Gust Miller; step-children, Dorothy Vassar, Herman Miller, Donald Miller and Leslie Miller; two step-grandsons, Kenneth Vassar, Vaughn Miller; a special daughter-in-law, Wendy; two sons-in-law; two stepdaughters-in-law; one stepson-in-law; and siblings, Carol, Herbert, Alfred, Donald and Robert.
The visitation will be Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Fence Bible Church, Fence. A luncheon will be served at the Fence Town Hall from noon to 3 p.m., followed by a special tribute and celebration of Agnes’ life from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the hall. Private funeral services will be held for immediate family members at the Fence Bible Church at 4 p.m. Rev. Tim Smith will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that the comfort Agnes received from her faith in God be honored with contributions to the Fence Bible Church.
The family has chosen the Jacobs-Lundholm Funeral Home, Florence, to honor Agnes’ legacy of life.