Ann Doepke Miller
Died June 17, 2020 in her home with family at her side. Born March 21, 1933 in Milwaukee to Virginia Smith Doepke and Frederick Charles Doepke. Ann attended the Downer Seminary and was graduated from the Cambridge School in Massachusetts. She went on to Smith College before finishing at Layton Art School. Ann first met her future husband Marvin Elliott Miller through mutual friends "Under the Clock at the Biltmore" in New York. They married in 1954.
Ann is survived by her daughter Laura (Jake) and son Alex (Michele) and five grandchildren, Jack, Maggie, Elena, Lexi and Billy, all of whom she adored, as well as her loving and endlessly supportive sister Virginia Doepke Newhall. Marvin, Ann's most devoted fan, died in February of 2019.
As a child Ann developed an enduring love for Wisconsin's north woods after spending summers at Clearwater Camp and Cardinal's Manitowish Lodge, where she later brought her family. She seemed happiest and most at peace while sitting on a screened porch in one of its rustic cabins.
Ann was elegant and poised but as a dear friend once commented, she "told it like it was." Opinionated and stubborn at times, she also demonstrated empathy and curiosity. Her artistic talent was expressed through drawing, painting and collage, as well as meticulous attention to the aesthetics of her personal space, alive with bright colors. A true lover of words, her reading tastes were broad and her writing well-crafted.
What stands out for many is Ann's gracious courage in navigating the debilitating results of an illness that left her with an amputated leg at the age of 41. She persevered remarkably and led a full life, fortunate to have the continuous encouragement and love of a very close group of longtime friends and family. Late in life she adopted the credo "Crones don't whine," and tried hard to hew closely to its message even in the face of mounting challenges.
A family celebration of Ann's life will be held this fall when the trees will be displaying her favorite colors.
"Prayer" by Galway Kinnell
Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.
Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from Jun. 27 to Jun. 28, 2020.