Elaine J. Miller, age 91 of New London, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loved ones, on Monday, February 13, 2023.
Elaine June Miller was born April 1, 1931 in Manawa, daughter to the late John & Elsie (Balsey) Kostrzak. She attended school in Manawa and was active in cheerleading, band, and choir. At a dance near Bear Lake, Elaine met Stanley “Smiley” Miller, later marrying on June 23, 1951 at Manawa Methodist Church. She was employed at Sturm Foods and Tradewinds for a time, but once the couple started a family, Elaine cared for the children at home. In addition to her role of keeping the home and raising their children, she played a large role in the operation of the dairy farm they owned and operated near Symco. She also helped her husband run the baseball field/team in Symco; before games, the field needed to be set up and cleaned and all the kids pitched in to help. They were no stranger to hard work, but Elaine and Smiley also enjoyed social time as a couple. They always dressed “to the nines,” when they went out, enjoying spending time with friends, dancing, eating, and socializing. She took a lot of pride in keeping a tidy home, her and her family’s appearance, and really everything in her life was organized and clean. In her younger years, she bowled often in a women’s league in Marion, WI. Elaine was a great cook and there was always plenty of food when they were hosting. She also kept a large garden and there were plenty of beautiful flowers around the farm. She was an active member of St. Martin Lutheran Church, Clintonville, where she served on the Ladies Aid. Anyone that really knew Elaine, knew that she loved shopping, and not only for herself. She always looked forward to Christmas Eve with her family, especially the giving of presents. Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the love of her life and Elaine will always be remembered by family as “our little spark plug.”
Daughters: Marcia (Jim) Smick, Appleton & Melessa (Gary) Flease, New London
Son: Bryan (special friend, Brenda) Miller, Symco
Grandchildren: Tiffany (Nick) Holtz-Picago, Greenville; Dustin (Daina) Drath, La Crosse; Tarra (special friend, Michael) Buschke, New London; BJ (Nyke) Block, Hortonville; Ansley (special friend, Victor) Staats, New London; & Mandy Smick, Madison
Great-grandchildren: Olivia Holtz, Kinley & Jayda Knox-Drath, & Willa Block
Sister-in-law: Carol (Mae) Kratzke, Neenah
Brother-in-law: Robert (Sandy) Miller, Three Lakes
Special friends: Patty Kostrzak & Jack Lozier
Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Stanley “Smiley” E. Miller; sisters, Donna Stutleen & Eunice (Wesley) Ferg; a brother, Ronald Kostrzak; brothers-in-law, Gerald Kratzke, Ken (Betty) Miller, Roger (Janice) Miller, & Lloyd (Elaine) Miller.
Funeral services will be held 12 noon, Thursday, February 16, 2023 at St. Martin Lutheran Church, Clintonville with the Rev. Andrew Zobel officiating. Interment will take place at Union Cemetery, Symco in the springtime.
Visitation will take place on Thursday at the church from 10 AM until the time of service.
The family would like to thank Elaine’s long-time care-giver, Lisa Fritts.
The Eberhardt-Stevenson Funeral Home & Crematory, Clintonville is assisting the Miller family with the arrangements.
An online guestbook is available at eberhardtstevenson.com.