December 7, 1927 - September 12, 2018
Footville, WI -- Josephine (Jo) Miller, 90, of Janesville, WI, passed away on September 12, 2018, at Agrace Hospice after battling cancer. Born December 7, 1927, in Chicago, IL, she was married to her childhood friend, high school sweetheart and husband Raymond Miller for 70 years. They grew up on neighboring farms in McHenry County, IL, and shared a love of horses and riding the fields together. They married in November 1948 and lived in Cary, IL, for 16 years with their four children. After a long search for a farmstead of their own, they found a farm for sale on Miller Road in Rock County, WI, and felt it was meant to be. The family moved to Miller Road, and Ray and Jo have made their home there since 1964. Jo had a deep bond with "her" farm and all the activity surrounding farm life. She was a farmwife at heart. In spare hours, she loved walking the back lanes enjoying wildflowers and wild grapes along fencelines and the valley view from the top of the hill. She had a deep and true love of nature. Jo worked off the farm as a bookkeeper and tax preparer, before becoming a licensed real estate broker. She started her own company, Jo Miller Realty, and marketed homes, farms and land in Rock County. She served on the Center Town Zoning Board and Rock County Board of Adjustment. She was very proud to have served the membership of the Rock Energy Cooperative as a Director for 24 years making history as the first woman elected to the Board. Jo was an active member in St. Augustine Catholic Church in Footville. She also was associated with the Brodhead Airport working at their numerous events like the pancake breakfasts and pork chop dinners for the fly-ins. Jo had a passion for Wisconsin history, and became involved in the Luther Valley Historical Society, and Rock and State Historical Societies. She was actively involved as a leader in the Magnolia 4-H Club and served as Rock County Superintendent of the Cloverbuds when the program was initiated. She was an avid supporter of her grandchildren's sporting events, and attended many of their games. Jo was known by many for her talent for cooking, and she loved to entertain friends and family. She also had a passion for politics and current events, and she didn't hesitate to start lively discussions.
Jo is survived by her husband, Raymond; four children: Mary (Dennis) Haakenson of Evansville, Debbie Miller Thornton of Janesville, Barbara (Leon Maerz) Miller of Evansville, Dan (Lori) Miller of Janesville; and nine grandchildren: D. Erik (Katie) Haakenson, Mark Haakenson, Aaron (Julie) Thornton, Jennifer (Rich) Sullivan, Michael (Ann) Thornton, Joseph Miller Maerz, Abbey Miller, Mallory Miller and Matthew Miller; two great-grandchildren, Riley Sullivan and Ryan Sullivan; sister, Marie (Colin) Slater of Chicago; nieces: Jean, Lynn and Holly; and nephews: Phillip, Clyde and Mark. She was predeceased by her parents and an infant son.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, September 23, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Creekside Place, 102 Maple Street, Evansville, WI. A memorial fund is being established in Jo's name. Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home Evansville is assisting the family.
The family would like to express a sincere thank you for the wonderful care given by the staff at Evansville Manor Nursing & Rehabilitation, Agrace Hospice, Home Instead, and Bill Hurtley of Ward-Hurtley Funeral Home.