It is with heavy hearts and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Judy Miller, who left us on May 16, 2023. She was a shining light in our lives, and her brightness and spirit will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be held 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 19, 2023 at Christy-Smith Funeral Home, Morningside Chapel, 1801 Morningside Avenue. The funeral service will be held 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Grace United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Lakeview Gardens Cemetery, Spirit Lake, Iowa.
For those wishing to experience Judy Miller's funeral through the Grace UMC livestream, please go to the church's Facebook page and look for the live event on Saturday.
Judy was born on February 12, 1944 to parents Heber and Virginia Miller only to be joined by her beloved sister Linda Wittstruck and AFS sister Autsuko. She spent her life dedicated to her family, spreading love, kindness, and joy to all those around her. She was a remarkable woman whose kindness and openness touched the lives of many. Her love, warmth, and gentleness supported us through life's challenges, and her unwavering kindness was a source of inspiration for all who knew her. She truly lived the heart of Micah 6:8 seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking with God.
As a mother, Judy was unparalleled. Her devotion to her children and those they love was constant, and her love knew no bounds. She nurtured us, encouraged us, and instilled in us the values of grace, compassion, respect, and determination. Her unwavering belief in our potential fueled our dreams and gave us the confidence to pursue them. This love only grew as she added grandchildren and great grandchildren to her family. Each of them, a source of great delight!
Beyond her role as a mother, Judy was an extraordinary pastor, friend, pioneer, and mentor. Her genuine interest in others, her empathetic ear, wise counsel, and commitment to justice provided comfort and solace to countless individuals and changed the world for the better. She had an innate ability to bring people together, fostering a sense of community and belonging wherever she went. She served churches in Sioux City, Indianola, Manchester, Moravia, Kanawha, Iowa City First, Osceola, and Jefferson before becoming the Superintendent of the Muscatine District of the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church. Oftentimes she was the first woman pastor and worked hard to build relationships and to make the way for those to follow. Mom’s grit and grace served her well as she fought alongside farmers during the farm crisis, advocated against the expansion of gambling, responded to those in the crises of domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness, worked to build an ever more inclusive world where everyone would know they were loved just as they are. Most recently she was able to continue this work serving on the board of the Native American Child Care Center.
While we mourn the loss of our dear mother, we also celebrate the beautiful legacy she leaves behind. Her love will forever live on in the hearts of her children, Cindy and Paul Kumsher, Libby and Cory Myer, Sarah and Dean Stevens, as well as her adoring grandchildren, Ana and TJ Lathrop and child Charlie, Zachary and Sierra Myer and children Nikolas and Olivia, Nadalyn Myer and Austin Neitzel and child Jasper, Rachel and Jacob Hayworth, Maxwell Kumsher, Alayna Myer, and all those fortunate enough to have known her.
We invite you to join us as we celebrate Judy at a service on Saturday, May 20 at 10:30 am at Grace United Methodist Church.
Rest in peace, dear mother. You will be eternally missed and forever loved.
With all our love, the Kumsher, Myer, and Stevens Families
The family has requested that memorials be directed to Native American Child Care Center.