Marjorie L. Miller, "the piano player" and resident of Park Meadows Senior Living played her last piano song. She passed away June 16, 2014, after serenading her friends in their dining room a few days earlier. Everyone who knows Marge knows music was in her soul. At age 3, Marge's parents (Glen Sheldon and Gertrude Bliss of Warrensburg, MO) heard someone playing the piano downstairs at 2:00 a.m.!! After running downstairs to get rid of the intruder, they found Marjorie playing!!! Recognizing this was a gift, her parents enrolled her in private school at "University High" on the college campus of Central Missouri State College. This...
Marjorie L. Miller, "the piano player" and resident of Park Meadows Senior Living played her last piano song. She passed away June 16, 2014, after serenading her friends in their dining room a few days earlier. Everyone who knows Marge knows music was in her soul.
At age 3, Marge's parents (Glen Sheldon and Gertrude Bliss of Warrensburg, MO) heard someone playing the piano downstairs at 2:00 a.m.!! After running downstairs to get rid of the intruder, they found Marjorie playing!!! Recognizing this was a gift, her parents enrolled her in private school at "University High" on the college campus of Central Missouri State College. This allowed Marge to pursue her musical talents that reached far past the piano. She taught herself to play the college's pipe organ and was asked to play for commencement and other college ceremonies. She also played and performed all string orchestra instruments and harp as well as "conduct" orchestras. Her audiences enjoyed her performances in high school and college. Whenever she'd notice the audience bored, she'd take the initiative to "jazz" up the performance. She's lucky her professors didn't flunk her-but her instincts were always good and she knew her audiences. Her choral group, "Bliss's Misses" were enjoyed locally and outside of Warrensburg.
She attended Central Missouri State College for 2 years as a music major. This was cut short due to WWII. She met a handsome GI (Randall Jefferson Miller) from Lancaster, Ohio). Randy was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base along with Marge, who was also working there. (She looked "sassy" in her civilian airbase uniform!) She succeeded in her job at Whiteman while building a huge water tower-it remained until it became outdated. She married Randy upon his return from Germany during WWII (October 27, 1946) and they enjoyed a fabulous marriage until he died 50 years later (1996). Mom never remarried: "If you do it right the first time, you don't need a second." Randy was her soul mate.
Marge and Randy had one child, Pamela Dawn (Miller) Greene. Their small family was extremely happy with fun vacations, yearly magical Christmas, and celebrations of every holiday. Mom taught me that she was not my playmate, but my mother. Even so, she was incredibly fun and lived life to the fullest everyday with her family. She taught me "Never judge anyone. You don't know anything 'till you've been in their shoes." She liked everybody and everything. We never "cried over spilt milk" nor did we ever throw temper tantrums in the face of adversity. She was incredibly calm when she was car crashed by an armored truck. She was told she was in shock because she was so calm. "I don't think it'd do anyone any good at this point to be hysterical." In 1957, mom grabbed me out of my bathtub and saved my life from the infamous F5 Ruskin tornado. One week to the day, she had dad build a storm shelter and always left her front door open to anyone in need of shelter. In 1979, she saved me from a high-rise hotel fire by pushing past fireman as they hacked out the ceiling. They tried to block her out, but she kept yelling, "My daughter's up there and I'm gonna get her out!" She did-along with the other hotel guests on floor 2!
At age 65, there was a boy who stole Marge's heart. He calls her "mamie" (for grandma). Marge told her oncology doctor 10 years earlier she would agree to cancer chemo for 1 year, but only so she could eventually be a grandma. "Grandma Miller" was her nickname during her cancer ordeal. In 1988, her dream came true! Michael Thomas Greene shared a special bond with his grandma from the day he was born. They are both performers-he in sports, while Marge in music. (There's a special connection there). Upon his birth, she could barely wait to stroller him in the shopping mall! What fun she and papa had taking him for his first McDonald's hamburger and French fries-a staple food that lasted forever. They loved being grandparents. They shared many over-nighters, but Mike's fondest memories are his yearly magical Christmas Eve festivities.
Three generations of an "only child"-Marge, Pam, Mike---didn't mean it lonely. On the contrary. Family was everything to Marge. This included her son-in-law Thomas Gilbert Greene, who married Pam in 1983. Marge loved Tom like her own son. We were a family and she made sure Tom knew that included him-always! She loved our family gatherings; she loved our trips to Braymer to visit Papa B and Oakland; she loved our vacations in Arizona. She loved us all unconditionally. She loved us all for who we were. She loved us all simply because….
Marge's life philosophy is seen in Ralph Waldo Emerson's poem "To laugh often and love much…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived---this is to have succeeded."
"Marge in Charge" also has words of instruction: "Do not stand at my grave and weep; I am not there. I do not sleep…Do not stand at my grave and cry: I am not there. I do not die."
Motherhood for Marge was unconditional. I found "When God Created Mothers" (by Erma Bombeck) in mom's bible the other day.
"Let the Angels gather and the music play" for a visitation with food and refreshments, Thursday, June 19th, at McGilley State Line Chapel, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., to honor a life well lived. Private burial in Evergreen Cemetery in Braymer, MO.
Flowers may be sent to McGilley State Line Chapel or contributions may be made to the music department at University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO.
Condolences may be left online at www.mcgilleystatelinechapel.com.
Arrangements by Mcgilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, KCMO, 64145.