Elene (Schiermer) Miller
November 7, 1934-June 17, 2020
DECATUR-Elene (Schiermer) Miller, 85, passed away on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at her home, in Decatur, Illinois. Elene is survived by her daughter Susan (Timothy) Fallon, of Geneva, granddaughters, Katherine Fallon of New York, NY, Elizabeth Fallon of Columbia, MO, and her sister, Catherine Nichols of North Carolina. Elene was preceded in death by her parents, Walter and Sallie Schiermer of Moline, IL, and her beloved son, Steven Robert Miller.
Elene was born November 7, 1934, in Davenport, IA. She graduated from Moline High School in 1952. She attended Augustana College from 1952-53 and was a member of Phi Rho sorority. She then transferred to the University of Illinois where she was a member of Kappa Delta sorority and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. Directly after graduating, she moved to Long Beach, CA, where she accepted her first elementary teaching position. She had many fond memories of her time in California including purchasing her first car, a convertible, of which she drove up and down the coast exploring the sunny oceanside terrain.
After teaching in California, she married Leland B. Miller Jr., in 1958, whom she had met while they both attended the University of Illinois. They were married in Linden, NJ, with Elene's grade school class from Westfield, NJ, attending their wedding. They later settled back to Illinois where Leland accepted a position as a chemical engineer with A.E. Staley Company. Elene continued teaching elementary school in Decatur, Illinois, until she had her first child, Steven. Elene and Leland divorced in 1981.
Elene enjoyed sharing memories of her many travels in 1960's to Spain, France, and England. Her visits to the Louvre in Paris and Harrods in London were especially memorable as she was enthralled with both art and fashion. She loved the theater, movies, and music, instilling this appreciation onto her granddaughters. She competed on Jeopardy from her living room every weekday and was often the first to answer the questions correctly. She was informed on all current events and could discuss every political candidate and their respective platform.
Elene had many admirable qualities, but the ones that stood out the most were her gentle warmth, kindness toward others, and her ability to laugh. She kept in touch with many good friends from both Moline High School and the University of Illinois Kappa Delta sorority, including her best friend since childhood, Peggy (Scott) Griffith. While pregnant with Steven, Elene met her dearest friend in Decatur, Doris Fiala, who was also pregnant with her son, Bob. Doris was a constant throughout Elene's life as they raised their children together, hosting cookouts, dinners, and celebrating many occasions. Elene dearly loved the entire Fiala family and took great joy in watching their children and grandchildren grow up. A special thank you to Dick Fiala for always including Elene in every Fiala occasion.
Elene was immensely proud of her two granddaughters, Kate and Elizabeth. She loved the challenge of finding fun, educational toys for them when they were young. As they grew up she would sit for hours talking with them around her kitchen table. Laughter came easily with her granddaughters and they learned early on the welcoming essence of her fun nature.
A memorial service is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the University of Illinois.
Published by Quad-City Times from Jun. 28 to Jun. 29, 2020.