The Heroines

Alverna Miller

is honored with a Brick from Nancy G. Kemmerer

 Alverna  Miller Miller, Alverna age 81 of Lake City, Minn., died Monday, April 24, 2006, in a one-vehicle accident near Reads Landing, Minn. She was a retired schoolteacher and adventurous member of the Greatest Generation who until recently had lived in Old Frontenac, Minn. She was born July 23, 1924, on a farm in West Albany Township, in Wabasha County, one of 12 children of Maria (Augustine) and Claus Sprick. In 1942, she graduated first in her class of 59 from Lincoln High School in Lake City, and in 1945 she graduated summa cum laude from Winona State Teachers College (now Winona State University). For three years, she taught English at Faribault High School. In 1949, she attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota and worked at Patterson Dental Supply in St. Paul. In 1951, she embarked on the first of what would be many adventures in her life when she traveled to Germany to work for Army Special Services as a recreation director in Schwabisch Hall. There she met and fell in love with SFC William Alton Miller of Winston-Salem, N.C. They were married on April 18, 1953, and had three children -- Pamela (1956), Christopher (1958) and Mary Catherine (1960). As an Army wife for almost 20 years, Alverna lived and worked in many places, including Columbus, Ga.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Omaha, Neb.; Baltimore, Md.; Fort Ord, Calif.; Ansbach, Germany; and Frederick, Md. In 1967, the family moved to Old Frontenac to be near Alverna's family while Bill Miller served in Vietnam, and lived there for many years thereafter. After retiring from the Army, Bill became Goodhue County auditor. Alverna taught many subjects, including English, math and special education, at Lincoln High School, her alma mater. Alverna belonged to Bethany Lutheran Church in Lake City for many years, and most recently was a member of First Lutheran Church in Lake City. She volunteered at the Lake City Area Hospice and other hospice and nursing home venues, and was active at the Goodhue County History Center and with the Friends of Florence Town Hall. She is survived by her children, two daughters, Pamela Miller of Robbinsdale, Minn.; the Rev. Cathy (Michael) Northrup of Wichita, Kan.; one son, Christopher (Mary) of Centerville, Minn.; five grandchildren, Zachary, Moriah, Hannah, Elizabeth and Noah; a brother, Elmer (Mavis) Sprick of Lake City; three sisters, Anna Smith of Red Wing, Florence Bye of St. Paul; Kate (John) Kirkwood of Lake City; sister-in-law Violet Irvin of Lake City; several nieces and nephews, and countless friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, William (in 1996); her parents; three brothers and four sisters. Funeral services will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in Lake City with the Rev. Wayne Radke officiating. Burial will be Monday at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to 8 at the Mahn Family Funeral Home Anderson- Peterson Chapel Lake City. Friends may also call one hour before the services at the church.