Alice Miller
1943 - 2021

Miller, Alice

MADISON - Alice Miller, age 78, of Madison, passed away and joined her Heavenly Father on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. She was born Jan. 1, 1943, in Illinois, and placed into the loving arms of her adoptive parents, Christian and Ruth Smith. She spent her early years roaming the fields of her family farm in Clinton, Wis., with her faithful Collie, Laddie, by her side. She used to say, "Mother was always able to see where I was by the sight of my Laddie's tail waving above the grasses." Alice also enjoyed climbing the apple trees with her mother. These carefree days outdoors likely contributed to her passion for creating beautiful flower gardens. Alice attended UW-Platteville, studying drama with the acclaimed actress, Agnus Moorehead.

In October 1961, at a UW-Madison homecoming game, Alice met her soulmate, Clifford Alan Miller. Thanks to a blind date set up by each of their college roommates, Cliff and Alice spent the night talking and getting to know each other. They were married five months later, on March 31, 1962. And the rest, as they say, is history. In January 1963 Alice welcomed her first daughter, Laura, and in April 1965 her second daughter, Leslie, was born.

Alice loved nothing more than to host and entertain others; Christmas was one of her favorites! She would begin decorating her house in November, creating a beautiful "winter wonderland" within her home. Christmas dinners were amazing!

On New Year's Eve she threw herself a birthday party extravaganza, and her 4th of July gatherings were epic!

She and a group of friends created the "Gourmet Club." Each month a country was chosen, and each couple was responsible for a different course filled with food from that country. The rowdiness of each meal was often determined by which beverage representation for the country was chosen. Some beverage choices of note were sake from the Japan meal, vodka from Russia and of course the famous oozo of Greece (there may have been table dancing at this meal)!

Alice was blessed with two green thumbs. She was able to grow absolutely anything. Her gardens were filled with lush, beautiful flowers of every variety. She was chosen to be on the test panel for Jackson and Perkins rose company, growing new hybrid varieties of roses for them and reporting on the roses' characteristics. Her gardens at her home in Cottage Grove were themed, and covered acres of the property, making it feel as though you were visiting the gardens of a grand estate. She put this gift to use, teaming up with her friend Lynn to create an interior design/gardenscape business, "Indeco."

Painting old furniture in whimsical ways became another outlet for her creativity. She called these creations "furniture." The piece that caused her the most stress was a large white sofa she was commissioned to paint with big, beautiful flowers! Her most requested pieces were barstools with a cat curled up on them. Clients would send a photo of their pet, and she would paint a likeness of the beloved family member curled up on the stool.

Alice is survived by her adoring husband, Clifford; daughters, Leslie (Mark) VanHierdan and grandson, Dillon, and Laura (Jeffrey) Kronser; grandchildren, Chelsae (Peter), Corey (Megan), Jaclyn (Dominick), Jameson (Jessica), and Kaeden; and great-grandchildren, Maya, Zadie, Griffin, Efram, Willow, Neva, Juniper, Nola, Shea, Lux, and Mara. She is further survived by her longtime BFFs, Lynn Coffeen and Jeanne Beckley.

Private services were held. In lieu of gifts, the family would like you to consider a donation to one of Alice's favorite causes: Angel's Wish (cat rescue), Messiah Lutheran Church, Madison, or Olbrich Gardens.

Published by on Oct. 31, 2021.
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