1941 - 2012
On July 17, 2012, Mary Marsyl Engle Miller passed away at her home in Spokane Valley, Washington after a four year struggle with cancer.
She was 70 years old.
Based on her life-long, unshakable faith, she deeply believed she was going to be with the Lord.
Mary is survived by her loving husband of 51 years, Barry M. Miller of Spokane Valley.
She was a selfless and devoted mother to her three sons.
Later she warmly welcomed their wives as her long-hoped-for daughters.
Her four grandchildren were cherished treasures.
These families include: Barry M. Miller II and Vivencia Miller and their daughter Rachel, all of Spokane; Todd R. Miller and Rowena Pineda and their son Ryan, all of Spokane; and Russell A. Miller and Theresa Murrell-Miller and their children Carver and Elsa, all of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Her husband and sons were at her side when she died.
She is also survived by her mother and seven siblings.
But Mary’s family extended to the congregations of the many churches she brightened throughout her lifetime.
Her family is particularly grateful for the friendship and spiritual leadership that Pastor Mike Erickson of Driscoll Boulevard Baptist Church in Spokane provided during Mary’s prolonged illness and in her last days.
Mary was a true daughter of the Inland Empire.
She was born and spent her infancy in Eastern Washington’s dusty wheat country-Colfax, Marlin and Pullman-before moving with her family to Spokane as a child.
She was a 1959 graduate of North Central High School.
Love and then marriage led her east to Cleveland and Willoughby, Ohio for a decade.
But her family-and the mountains, pines, and fresh western air-called her back.
She started her family in Ohio, but chose to raise them in Priest River and Salmon, Idaho.
Mary retired to Spokane in 2005, home again at last.
In 1963 Mary graduated from the Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing as a Registered Nurse.
She served the sick with those skills and her gentle spirit for four decades.
It is impossible to know how many bodies she helped heal and souls she comforted during work in hospitals, big city clinics, and small-town doctors’ offices.
To her credit, even as medicine became an industry, Mary continued to work lovingly and conscientiously with her patients.
Mary loved children, so she gathered neighborhood kids to her side and often taught Sunday School classes.
She was a quiet baseball fan (rooting for the New York Yankees and the Spokane Indians).
She enjoyed classical and devotional music, and thought that “Ave Maria” was the perfect combination of those genres.
She was known to watch some football (suffering with the WSU Cougars and swooning over Joe Montana and Peyton Manning).
She baked endlessly.
She loved to read.
All her life she was a fan of science fiction and action films, which she annotated, critiqued and asked questions about while the films were showing.
She was a highly-skilled champion of many board games.
She was greatly relieved that Jack Bauer had saved the world so many times, maybe because it made things safe for new seasons of “America’s Got Talent”.
Mary marveled at the delicacy, discretion, and determination of hummingbirds.
She was most at peace in the solitude and among the towering, snow-capped peaks of Glacier National Park, astride cross-country skis, her face flushed in the cold winter air.
Mary’s sincerity and easy smile attracted many friends whom she kept close through scores of letters and cards, written in her careful hand and stubbornly sent through the post despite the ascendance of e-mail.
Mary freely gave her love, drawing from a seemingly bottomless well.
And she modeled a life of warmth, forgiveness, modesty, fairness, sacrifice and curiosity.
Above all-and even to the end-she hoped all this served as a witness for her deep faith.
Her family and friends will miss her terribly.
A memorial service is planned for 1:00 pm on August 4, 2012, at Driscoll Boulevard Baptist Church, 4815 N. Driscoll Blvd., Spokane, WA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Inland Northwest Community Foundation (INWCF), 618 West Riverside Ave., Ste.
302, Spokane, WA 99201 - please direct donations to the “Mary M. Miller Nursing Scholarship”.
Community Cremation Service Spokane Valley
13127 E. Sprague, Spokane Valley, WA 99216 509-926-2020
On-line guestbook at: www.CommunityCremationService.com