Margaret Mary MillerNovember 8, 1938 ~ July 26, 2020 (age 81)
Margaret Mary “Margie” Miller (nee Beckman) of Fairview Heights, IL, born November 8, 1938, in East St. Louis, IL, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, July 26, 2020, at the Garden Court Alzheimer’s Care Center of Liberty Village in Maryville, IL.
Margie grew up in East St. Louis, IL, where she attended St. Joseph’s Catholic Grade School, and in 1956, graduated from St. Teresa’s Academy where—to hear her tell it—she “used to drive the nuns to get their beer.” After high school, Margie moved to Lancaster, California, where she proudly worked for the Army test pilots of the Army Aviation Testing Office at Edwards Air Force Base. She loved to share stories and photographs from this time, and was proud to have worked with Chuck Yeager, Gus Grissom, and so many men and women who played an integral part in the early days of the American space program.
She transferred back to the area to take a job at Scott Air Force Base, and eventually retired after many years of dedicated service to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office. A hard worker, Margie was often the first person to arrive at the office, and the last to leave, constantly refreshing the rotating supply of pretzels and sweets on her desk for the many co-workers, lawyers, and police officers who passed through each day. If she loved you, she fed you, and not in a small way: It was not uncommon to find Margie cooking for friends, working diligently in her kitchen to prepare sloppy joes, ham ‘n beans, or her world-famous chicken ‘n dumplings, generally in 10-pound batches. She often used these skills in the service of the men and women of the Knights of Columbus, East St. Louis Council #592, where she was an active member of the Women’s Auxiliary and enjoyed many happy evenings over the years visiting with friends at the State Street, Lebanon Road, and Collinsville Road locations.
Margie was a devout Catholic, and a long-time member of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Fairview Heights, IL. In recent years, she attended St. Henry’s Parish in Belleville, where she enjoyed the Mass from the very last pew, reserved in her honor by a dedicated crew of ushers she would covertly ply with clandestine peppermint candies each week. Proud of her Irish heritage (her Grandma “Kitty Kat” Kate harkened from Limerick, Ireland), Margie loved any occasion to celebrate with good friends, good stories, and an ice-cold Bud Light. From her weekly bingo nights with friends to her treasured visits to “The Boat,” Margie was quick to make new friends and often the life of the party. She will be greatly missed.
Margie was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Margaret (Payne) Beckman, of East St. Louis, IL, and her brother, Bill (Marie) Beckman of Tallahassee, Florida.
She is survived by her devoted caregiver and beloved husband of 48 years, Paul W. Miller, of Fairview Heights, IL; two daughters, Lynne (Phil Deist) Miller, of Glen Carbon, IL, and Maggie (Keith) Grotefendt, of Collinsville, IL; four grandchildren, Emma Deist, Aidan Deist, Jacob Grotefendt, and Christopher Grotefendt, whom she spoiled relentlessly and loved with all her heart; a sister, Nan Hoffmann, of Swansea, IL; countless nieces and nephews; and legions and legions of friends.
The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to the nurses and staff of Garden Court at Liberty Village in Maryville, IL, for the excellent care that Margie received. She greatly enjoyed her time at the center, and the kindness and professionalism shown by the staff was a true blessing to Margie and her family these past nine months.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Henry’s Catholic Church, 5315 West Main Street, Belleville, IL.
Visitation will be held on Friday, July 31, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights, IL.
A funeral procession will leave Kassly Mortuary on Saturday, August 1, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. Mass at St. Henry’s Catholic Church, 5315 West Main Street, Belleville, IL, with Reverent Kenneth J. York officiating. Interment at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.