Obituary: Miller, Emma C.

Age 96

MILLER, Emma C. Passed away March 18, 2014 in Spokane Valley, Washington.

Emma was born on December 18, 1917 in Carlin Bay, Idaho.

Her parents Gus and Hattie Higgelke came over from Germany and became farmers of alfalfa, wheat and various livestock.

Emma was the middle child, having an older brother Fred Higgelke and younger sister Gertrude Coleman now deceased.

Emma attended a one room school house which had forty students.

She had fond memories of her mother teaching her how to sew, needlecrafts, and to cook.

Her mother had her own spinning wheel and everything was handmade.

All of their stockings, hats and gloves were made by her mother with love.

That is the main reason Emma had always enjoyed knitting, sewing and crocheting in her spare time.

One specialty that mother loved was cooking delicious meals.

After graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School in 1936, she left her family and went to New York City where she attended Culinary School.

After graduating, she returned to Idaho and attended a community college for more cooking instructions.

While attending school, she met her future husband Alfred Miller who was a landscape gardener at the Hayden Lake Country Club.

The couple was married for over thirty years and had a wonderful life together.

Alfred passed away in 1976.

They enjoyed hunting, fishing together, working outside in their beautiful flower and vegetable gardens.

They were active members of the Eagle Auxiliary and enjoyed dancing on Saturday nights at the Eagles.

The couples were blessed with two children, John and Kathleen.

Emma is survived by her son John Miller (Dona), daughter Kathleen Arger (Greg); five grandchildren: Rick and James Miller, Gene, George, and Stephanie Arger; and five great-grandchildren: Jazmine, Siena, and Rylan Miller, Vasiliki and Andreas Arger.

Emma was assistant chef at Desert Hotel in Coeur d’Alene.

She worked with the executive chef until he retired.

She continued to work at the hotel for many years as the executive chef.

Mother catered many lavish parties for very influential people in Coeur d’Alene.

Later, she was the executive chef for Athletic Round Table until she retired.

The past five years, Emma enjoyed living at the Evergreen Fountains Senior Living Community in the Spokane Valley.

She had developed many friendships there.

She was part of the “Happy Hatters” knitting group and made over 100 handmade hats for children and new born babies that were in hospitals.

Emma enjoyed Bingo, Wine and Cheese Socials and Scenic drives.

She was crowned the title “Puzzle Queen” because she enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles and devoted much of her time to them.

Emma was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

She was very much involved with our everyday lives, she gave happiness and encouragement to everyone whom she touched.

She will be greatly missed.

A visitation will be held on Monday, March 24 from 9am to 11am.

Funeral Service will begin at 11am, both will take place at ENGLISH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 1133 N. 4th St. in Coeur d’Alene.

Emma will be laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery in Coeur d’Alene.

Please visit Emma’s online memorial at

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