Virginie K. MILLER

  • "To the family, for your loss, I am so very sorry. (Matthew..."
    - Christine

MILLER, Virginie K. passed on early in the morning on October 15, 2017 in Oro Valley, Arizona. Her beloved son, Christopher, was by her side. She was a lifelong adventurer, a joy to her family and to everyone who knew her. She left behind a lifetime of fond memories and cherished friendships. Virgie was born Virginie Winifred Witte, in Brooklyn, New York, on January 15, 1922, the daughter of Fred and Darthea Witte. She graduated from Southside High School in Rockville Center, New York, in 1938, and in 1942, received a B. A. in American Literature from Middlebury College in Vermont. After college, Virgie worked for two years at the Guaranty Trust Company in New York City, until 1944. With a decision that would change the course of her life, she enlisted in the United States Navy and served as an ensign during WWII, from 1944 to 1946. While stationed at Pensacola, Florida, she met her first husband, Wynkoop Kiersted III, a Navy Lieutenant Commander and pilot. They were married and had two sons, John Wynkoop Kiersted, and Christopher William Kiersted. Wynkoop died in an aviation accident in Chincoteague, Virginia, in 1949. Virgie returned home with her boys to the loving support of the Kiersted and Witte families. During this time, she met William Cole Miller Jr. (Bill), who had been a B-17 pilot and instructor during the war. They were married in 1953. With their marriage, Bill's two children, Wiliam Cole Miller III and Nancy Lorraine Miller, joined the family as well. Bill and Virgie moved to Huntington, Long Island, and their son, Daniel William Miller was born in 1958. During this time, the family spent many happy hours on the waters of Long Island Sound, on various boats named Billabong and Sundance. When the children went off to college, Virgie returned to university herself, earning the first of two Masters Degrees, in German Language and Literature, at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in 1976. She then returned to work; from 1977-1978 at the Hecksher Museum, in Huntington, New York, and from 1978-1980, working for David Rockefeller at Arts, Education and Americans at Rockefeller Center, in New York City. In 1980, Virgie and Bill set off on a new adventure, moving from the lush East Coast to Tucson, in the Arizona desert. They embraced the desert culture and traveled over most of Arizona and the Southwest. Their explorations took them from Mexico to Alaska and a number of times across the country. In addition, they traveled the world, Africa, Europe, Japan, Israel, Egypt, China, the South Pacific. The subtext of these trips was always to learn more about the planet, and they collected beautiful art, artifacts, and memories from around the globe. While they were in Tucson, Virgie earned a Masters Degree in Art History from the University of Arizona. She pursued her love of art by volunteering as a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art, and, for a time, ran the docent training program for the museum. In addition, she gave many presentations on famous artists and their work at various retirement communities in the Tucson area. She also volunteered in the museum at Tohono Chul Park. Anyone who visited them during the Tucson years was treated to a non-stop adventure and education about the geography and culture of the Southwest. Life with Virgie and Bill was always fun and never boring. Virgie cultivated a deep spiritual life and she and Bill were dedicated members of the congregation of Saint Francis in the Foothills Church. All in all, she would be the first to agree that she had led a rich, fascinating life, pursuing her dreams with endless enthusiasm and joie de vivre. She was eternally grateful for the many "angels" who loved and supported her, throughout her life. She is survived by her four sons, John Kiersted (Patti), Chris Kiersted (Parthenia), Dan Miller, Bill Miller (Joan), and her daughter, Nancy Victor (John); her grandchildren, Ashley Kreger (Mike), Jamie Kiersted, Nina Kiersted, Nick Kiersted, John Haller, Diane Lavery (Rob), Tracy Jackson (Matt), Jeff Victor (Cara), and great-grandchildren, Riley and Cole Jackson, Ryan and Tyler Lavery, Katie Victor and Kane Wynkoop Kreger. In her 95 years, Virgie touched so many of us. Her love of beauty, her dedication to her family, and her endless curiosity were a gift to us all. She will be deeply missed, but her time here with us will be cherished and celebrated forever. A Memorial gathering is planned for next summer in one of Virgie's favorite places, Cold Spring Harbor, New York. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Casa de la Luz Hospice, in Oro Valley, Arizona. Arrangements by VISTOSO FUNERAL HOME.

Funeral Home
Vistoso Funeral Home
2285 E Rancho Vistoso Blvd
Oro Valley, AZ 85755
(520) 544-2285
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Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Nov. 5, 2017
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