Cover photo for Phyllis Miller's Obituary
1922 Phyllis 2020

Phyllis Miller

June 10, 1922 — October 23, 2020

Phyllis Ruth Miller, age 98, died peacefully on Oct 23, 2020 at Bethesda Grand in Willmar, Minnesota.

A private graveside service will be held at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Atwater Funeral Home.

Phyllis was born on June 10, 1922 in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, the daughter of Glen and Gladys Harrington. She grew up in Plainview, Minnesota, graduated from Stewart High School in 1940 and attended the University of Minnesota School of Home Economics. At a college dance, she met Russell Miller, a University of Minnesota School of Agriculture student. They were married on June 16, 1944 in Stewart, while Russ was home on leave from the US Army Air Corps.  After the War ended, they moved to Le Sueur, Minnesota and pursued their lifelong dream of farming.  In addition to being a fulltime partner on the farm, Phyllis had a career in banking at Valley National Bank in Le Sueur.

In 1999, Phyllis and Russ retired to Atwater, Minnesota to live near their daughters.  She became a member of St. John Lutheran Church.  After 61 years of marriage, Russ passed away in 2005.  In 2011, Phyllis moved to Bethesda Heritage in Willmar, Minnesota.

Family was important to Phyllis.  She took pride in her children’s and grandchildren’s activities and accomplishments.  She was an avid quilter, knitter, seamstress and made excellent apple pies.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, grandson Nick Lilleberg in 2016, sister Betty Hedtke, and brothers Bill, Jack, David and Tom Harrington.

Left to remember Phyllis are her children: Barb Lilleberg (Stan) of Atwater, Tim (Betty) of Eden Prairie, Sue Behrends (Bruce) of St Paul and Pete (Julie) of Le Sueur; grandchildren Kerri (Luis) Vela, Erik (Jeanna)Lilleberg, Kristi Lilleberg-Barber, Matt (Tricia) Lilleberg, Jenny (Vince) Rosetta, Libby (Craig) Lasley, Alec (Abbie Franklin) Behrends, Nathaniel (Kirsten Hetland) Behrends, Peter (Kelsey Grant-Jenkins) Behrends, Jessica (Chad) Pylka, Jeff (Robyn) Miller,  Jacob (Casey Herrmann) Miller and 28 great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend special gratitude to the staff at Bethesda Heritage and Bethesda Grand for providing Phyllis with nine years of excellent care.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phyllis Miller, please visit our flower store.


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