Mary Ellen Miller, 99, of Kalona, passed away Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Pleasantview in Kalona. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 7, 2022, at 11:00 AM at the Kalona Mennonite Church. The service will be available via Livestream on the Beatty Peterseim Facebook Page. Private family burial will be held prior to the service. A memorial fund has been established for Kalona Mennonite Church and Pleasantview Home. The Beatty Peterseim Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Mary Ellen (Swartzendruber) Miller was born September 13, 1922, in Kalona, Iowa, the daughter of Lewis and Mabel (Whetstine) Swartzendruber. She graduated from Center High School and attended Washington Junior College in Washington, Iowa, and Goshen College. While she was at Center High School, she played softball and was the star pitcher for the team. Mary Ellen was a schoolteacher in rural schools before her marriage. In October of 1946, she was united in marriage to Ralph Miller. She also taught piano lessons and was a substitute teacher in rural schools and at Kalona Elementary School. Mary Ellen was a member of the Kalona Mennonite Church and the Red Hat Society. She enjoyed playing the piano, watching birds, playing Scrabble, baking and entertaining, Iowa Hawkeyes sports, traveling, adult coloring books and golfing. Mary Ellen was a Rotary Ann and she loved cooking for the Kalona Rotary Club. Ralph and Mary Ellen hosted foreign exchange students through the University of Iowa and hosted Solveig Klungsoyr in 1965 through ICYE. That relationship was special, and Solveig has remained a part of the family for 57 years.
Survivors include three children: Margaret (Lynn) Williams of Lakewood, CO, Richard (Brenda) Miller of Kalona, Douglas (Beverly) Miller of Allen, TX; four grandchildren: Justin (Melissa) Miller, Jessica Schumack (Jason Wood), Jaclyn (Jon) Arnell and Dana Williams (Tim Hosman); eight great-grandchildren: Grace Hosman, Andrew Schumack, Haley Schumack, Wesley Bolton, Lucas Arnell, Scarlett Wood, Major Miller and Xofia Miller,
Preceding Mary Ellen in death were her parents, her husband Ralph in 1999, three siblings: Stan, Bill and Lucille Swarztendruber and a great-grandson Levi Justin Miller.