Des Moines -
Mary Catherine Miller passed away on January 14, 2019, at Scottish Rite Park in Des Moines. No services will be held at this time.
Cathy was born in Bonner Springs, Kansas, at that time "just a wide place in the road" west of Kansas City. Her father was killed in an industrial accident when Cathy was not quite 4 years old. She and her mother moved to Kansas City, Kansas, in time for Cathy to attend school there.
Cathy always loved to draw and she took every available art class. After graduating from Wyandotte High School in 1945, Cathy entered the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, where she specialized in fashion illustration. During her junior year, she met an ex-GI who'd transferred from The University of Kansas. His name was Frank Miller, and he'd been a student of Karl Mattern, until Karl moved to Drake University. Cathy and Frank began dating.
In 1949 Cathy graduated from the Art Institute and went to work as a fashion illustrator in the art department of Harzfeld's, a prestigious Kansas City department store. Frank went to work for the Kansas City Star. By Christmas of 1950, they were engaged, planning to marry in May.
Frank's and Cathy's careers evolved. Frank became The Register's political cartoonist and won a Pulitzer Prize on May 6, 1963. Cathy took a class in batik and stepped into a whole new realm of art. In later years, when she and Frank vacationed each winter on Sanibel Island, they were in friendly competition - he sold his watercolors at The Schoolhouse Gallery and she sold her batiks at The Art Fac. Cathy lovingly encouraged both daughters in their art careers.
In 1974 they took up sailing, a family hobby that became a passion for the rest of their lives. Frank died suddenly in 1983. Cathy stayed in their condo at The Park at Southern Hills before moving to Scottish Rite Park.
Cathy is survived by Melissa Miller (Mark Zbieroski) of Des Moines, IA Mindy Miller (John Panjaitan) of Glenwood Springs, CO a grandson, Avery Joel Zbieroski (Sarah Jedd) of Denver, CO
Published in the Des Moines Register on Jan. 20, 2019.