April 24, 2024

Shirley Miller


Shirley Ann Miller, daughter of Gerald H. and Jessie (Sowder) Rowland, was born December 13, 1934 in Osceola, Iowa and passed from this life Saturday, May 13, 2023 at her home in Osceola, Iowa at 88 years of age.

Shirley grew up in Osceola and graduated from Osceola High School.  She met Lyle Miller at a fast pitch softball game when she was a freshman in high school.  Thus began their lifelong love story.  They were united in marriage on June 7, 1953 at the First Christian Church in Osceola.  They were blessed with two children, Jody and Mel.

Shirley was baptized at the First Christian Church.  As a young woman she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.  She was also a Girl Scout leader and long-time 4-H leader.  She was very supportive to her family and enjoyed gardening, sewing, crafts of all kinds, playing pinochle, pitch, cribbage and going fishing.

Shirley was a loving and devoted farm wife and mother.  She and Lyle operated Miller Farms near Osceola raising Angus and Charolais breeding cattle.  She worked alongside Lyle on the farm and showed cattle at many shows across the country.  Shirley was much more than a farm housewife.  She was deeply involved in the operation.  She did everything from vaccinating calves, to hauling hay and feed, to fitting the cattle for show.  She took great care of all the living things on the farm: cattle, dogs, farm cats, sheep, chickens, pheasant hatchlings, motherless baby rabbits... unless you were a predator, then she would “take care” of you too.   She ran the chain saw and split the wood that fed the hearth.

Shirley was also an excellent housewife.  A prolific gardener and gatherer, she raised and preserved most of what fed her family and guests.  She was an excellent hostess and cook who made holiday gatherings and other occasions special.  Shirley was an avid sports fan, especially women’s basketball and softball.  She and Lyle traveled far and wide, both in and out of state to attend their granddaughters’ basketball and softball games in both high school and college.  Even this last year she attended a few Clarke Girls basketball games that her son was coaching and attended an Iowa State Women’s basketball game with her daughter.  MOST importantly she took care of her Lyle until the day he passed.  

Those relatives who preceded Shirley in death were her husband, Lyle Miller, parents, Gerald H. and Jessie Rowland, brother, Ronald Rowland and son-in-law, Dick Cox.

Shirley leaves to cherish her memory; daughter, Jody Cox of Des Moines, IA, son, Mel (Lisa) Miller of Osceola, IA, grandchildren, Kyle Cox of New Orleans, LA, Kristina Cox of Des Moines, IA, Michael (Jennifer) Stover of Tucson, AZ, Michelle (Kevin) Juon of Council Bluffs, IA, and Morgan (Brian McIntyre) Miller of Ft. Collins, CO, and great grandchildren, Madison, Kaitlyn, Jordan, Grant, Bryce, and Cael, as well as other relatives and many friends.