Mary Ann Miller

Obituary of Mary Ann Miller

Please share a memory of Mary Ann to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.
Mary Ann Miller Mary Ann Miller passed very peacefully at her home February 9, 2022. She was born December 30, 1935 at the Dooley family home on Knight Road, 3 miles distant. Her family home was also where she got married when she and John were in college. Her parents were Earl Dooley and Virginia Tubandt Dooley Knight. Life for Mary Ann can best be divided into four segments. Her initial 22 years were primarily family and school related. It is during this time she loved horses, was a rodeo princess, raced at the local track, and packed for trips such as riding her horse around Mt. Adams. Next was her 31+ years as an Army wife. She often said, “If you want variety and spice in your life, just marry a soldier and be an army wife.” When moving time came, she honchoed packing and unpacking. . . . 20 times. In the USA the family lived in Maryland, Virginia (4x), Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Washington (3x), Hawaii and California (3x). Overseas locations, totaling 12 years, were Germany (2x), Panama and Korea. Kids attended many schools. Doug led the list with 12. The other four were close behind. Almost without exception, soon after arrival, Mary Ann became the military post volunteer coordinator responsible for varying entities such as the American Red Cross, Youth Programs and Army Community Service. Most challenging, this role culminated with a two-year tour in the Washington D C area where she worked full time at the Pentagon in the Personnel Department as the office manager. Concurrently, she was the volunteer coordinator for a 4-star General’s command where John was assigned consisting of 120,000 personnel at 138 locations around the world. She frequently made week-end presentations at military bases, and once accompanied her ‘General Boss’ to Korea and Japan, plus Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. Perhaps most noteworthy, she authored a document about volunteerism at the personal request of the Army Chief of Staff. Upon departure, she was awarded the Department of The Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. Meanwhile, as always, she kept fit doing the ‘Run for Your Life’ program and one time was on the winning team at a significant 10-mile race in D.C. proper. Mary Ann had been the recipient of many other significant awards during the 31 years she supported her husband as a military wife. These included the Outstanding Young Women of America Award in 1970 as the most outstanding young woman in Washington State. Her recognition was based on her social work leadership. A very memorable time came in 1988, while stationed in Korea. They had choice tickets to eight events at the Olympic Games. When John retired in 1989, their first endeavor was a four-month trip around the world. Upon their return to Goldendale, Mary Ann became very active in local leadership roles. She chaired the Entertainment Committee for the Klickitat County Fair for several years, became Master of the Centerville Grange for twelve consecutive years, President of the local PEO Chapter for two years, and was chair of the Klickitat County Republican Party for most of 10 years. Concurrently, for the same timeframe, she was the Manager of the Columbia Gorge Chapter of the American Red Cross. This role completed 44 years of involvement to some degree serving the Red Cross. Also, during the 1990’s she rode her bicycle on four of the 500-mile Cycle Oregon week long events, including a 106 mile stretch one day. Post her second retirement, Mary Ann participated in 3-week bicycle tours in Vietnam and Thailand. Continuing to exercise her interest in travel, she eventually visited a total of 65 countries before hanging up her backpack as health issues took command. Mary Ann is survived by her husband John of nearly 67 years, children Doug (Dorothy), Goldendale, Jeff (Tara), Boise, Jim (Terri), Klamath Falls, and Larci, Vancouver/Goldendale. Her grandchildren include Nikki Miller Hall, Ryan Miller, Chase Miller, Jordan Miller, Paula Riley, Chris Heffner and Drew Curristan. She was preceded in death by son John Kevin, and grandsons Jakob and Brandon. Her other near relatives are sister Donna Jean Shafer who lives in Kennewick and cousin Elizabeth Brokaw, Goldendale. Mary Ann was in hospice at home over two years due to kidney failure. The family expresses their heartfelt gratitude for the exemplary care provided by her physician Kayla Elliott and the KVH Hospice staff, especially Stephanie, Summer and Holly. Also, a special thanks to her assistant at home, caregiver Cathy Linden. Her Celebration of Life will be 11:00 on Saturday, February 26, at the Centerville Grange Hall. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mary Ann’s memory to the Klickitat Valley Education Trust, 550 Woods Rd, Centerville, WA 98613. The trust provides scholarships to Goldendale High School students.