Shirley Miller


Shirley Miller

Shirley Jean Porath Miller passed away peacefully on April 11, 2024, at the age of 91, surrounded by her family and husband Jerry Miller. She was one of six children born to Frederick and Elizabeth Anderson Porath in North Dakota on August 16, 1932. When she was very young her family traveled west and settled in Kootenai, Idaho, at the original Hidden Valley Ranch. They ran a dairy farm there, which oddly enough resulted in Shirley having a lifelong aversion to milk. She attended elementary school in Kootenai with Jerry, her future husband, who said that he fell in love with her in first grade. When they were seniors in high school they were voted prom king and queen. They both graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1950 and Shirley was the valedictorian of their class. They were married on November 20, 1951, and have been together ever since.

For the past 72 years, Jerry and Shirley had a great life. They moved to Boise, Idaho, where Jerry attended college and Shirley worked at the Capital. While there she was part of the local campaign to elect "Ike" for president. After a brief stint in Alaska they moved to Thompson Falls in 1955, and raised their family up Prospect Creek. From there they followed kids and grandkids all over the state in their many sporting events.

Shirley spent a lot of her time taking care of Jerry, who was a logger. She was a good cook and baked fresh bread for his lunch every week. She also made doughnuts for the opening day of hunting season each year and did a lot of cooking for and with the grandkids. She loved reading, making quilts, watching sporting events... even in the snow, huckleberry and mushroom picking (even though she didn't like mushrooms), golfing with her partners, Lois Cuddy and Pat Kazmierczak, assisting in raising of grandkids and walking around the woods enjoying her surroundings.

Her grandkids remember the daily mailbox walks, raking and jumping in the leaves, picking up trash along the road, learning about the different tree species, taking frozen birds for show and tell, daily crosswords (she did the Sunday crossword in ink), catching frogs in the creek, teaching them how to bake and never missing any sporting events.

She is missed terribly by her husband of 72 years.

Shirley Miller

She is survived by her husband Jerry; brother Gary Porath (Marilyn) of Kootenai, Idaho; children, Jane Cortez of Portland, Oregon, Jean Lutnes (Merle) of Monroe, North Carolina, Mary Taylor (Bob) of Thompson Falls, Jeff Miller (Robin) of Thompson Falls (formally of Hot Springs) and Lynn McCloskey (Jay) of Butte. She was blessed with many nieces, nephews, grandkids and great-grandkids that loved her.

Shirley loved to read and spent a lot of time at the library checking out books. Any donations can be sent to Thompson Falls Public Library in memory of Shirley Miller.

Services will be conducted on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 1 p.m. MST in the backyard of Jerry and Shirley Miller's home at 37 Wilkes Creek Rd, Thompson Falls.


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