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Myrtis Miller: 1931-2020

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Myrtis Marie Miller, 89, of Freeman, S.D. passed away on June 19, 2020 at the Oakview Terrace of Freeman. Visitation will be from 12 to 1 p.m. with COVID-19 guidelines and social distancing to be observed, followed by private family services at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 25 at Walter Funeral Home in Freeman, with burial at the Missionary Church Cemetery to follow.

Myrtis Marie Burr was born May 16, 1931, to Orla Otto and Fern E. (Ellis) Burr in Liberal, Kan. She attended Banner County School and graduated from Sublette High School in 1949 where her father served as superintendent. Myrtis earned her undergraduate degree in education and psychology at Friends University in Wichita, Kan. She was a member of the Singing Quakers at Friends University and performed solos at weddings, funerals, city events and special occasions. She began her teaching career as an elementary teacher and held positions in Fowler and Ulysses, Kansas. She was beloved by her students and respected by peers. She began her graduate studies at Emporia State in Kansas and was six credits shy of obtaining her master’s degree which she planned to complete after her marriage. She committed her life to Christ at an early age. She was a woman of principle, conviction, integrity and authenticity. She had a genuine love for people, embraced differences and loved unconditionally. Her faith sustained her through the spills and thrills of life. She deeply loved her family, gave her life for her children, invested in continual learning and made lasting impressions on family, friends and her community.

Myrtis was married to Glenn D. Miller on Aug. 17, 1958. Their marriage was blessed with four children: Debbie, Becky, Dan and Dee. Myrtis enjoyed gardening, reading, teaching, baking, music, sewing, and being a mother. Instead of completing her master’s degree, she turned her energy into caring for a special needs baby and investing in her childrens’ future. Myrtis was an active member in her church as she served on a variety of committees, taught Sunday school, directed children’s programs, served as president of the women’s group and coordinated many musical programs. Myrtis was a driving force in the organization of the ARC program in Freeman and served beside Glenn in that organization for many years. She played an instrumental part in establishing special education services with the Freeman Public School. Myrtis suffered memory loss and spent her final 14½ years at Oakview Terrace in Freeman. God’s gentle hand reached for hers, walking her through death’s door from the land of the dying to the land of the living on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Celebrating Myrtis’s life and looking forward to seeing her again in heaven are her children: Rebecca and Bruce Ebbesen of Turkey Ridge, S.D., Daniel and Rhonda Miller of Niles, Mich., and Delia and Randall Conrad of Chanhassen, Minn.; her grandchildren and great-grandchildren: Jesse and Allison Ebbesen (Blake and Nora), Laura and Jeremy Nettifee (their foster children), Kayte and Jordan Hatch (Everett), Dayleigh Miller, Ben Miller, Cole Conrad and Cody Conrad; sister-in-law Shirley Burr; niece Shana White and great-nephew Charles Ellzey.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Glenn; her daughter, Deborah; her parents, Orla and Fern Burr; her brother, Lynn; and her parents-in law, Ben J. and Katie (Kaufman) Miller. 

All undesignated memorials will be directed toward the Music and Memory program at Oakview Terrace.