Louise H. Miller, age 82, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 6, 2021 at Saylorville Church (6429 NW 6th Dr., Des Moines, IA) where the family will greet friends from 9:30 until 11:00. A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 18, 2021 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, AL, where the family will greet friends one hour prior to services. Interment will be in Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, AL.
Louise was born on March 2, 1939, the 5th of six children born to George L. and Mattie Harbin. She was named Mattie Louise after her mother. At that time, the family lived in Boaz - a small town in northeast Alabama; but after a few years, they moved back to Huntsville where Louise grew up. In school, Louise was a student that teachers wish for: smart, attentive, and focused. In high school, she also excelled at baking, and won awards for her cherry pies with latticed crusts.
She married and raised three children – Debbie, Jeanie, and Bill, living in Louisiana for the early years. After a divorce, Louise and the children returned to Huntsville where she cared for her parents in their waning years. During that time, she worked as bookkeeper and manager in a center for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. She always said that she didn't want to just earn a salary, she wanted her time to count for something. She wanted to work somewhere that "gave back" to the community. She later began doing income tax returns for family and friends, and also at the Senior Center. She taught the 3-year olds Sunday School class at West Huntsville Baptist Church for several years. And all the while, she would help her Mama with sewing. Louise's Mama did alterations for lots of folks, as well as sewing bridesmaid dresses for weddings and such. Louise often helped to cut out the dresses and sometimes spent her evenings after work sitting with her Mama on the sofa, hemming garments by hand.
A few years after her parents had died, Louise's brother Dub talked her into joining a square-dancing class at his church, where he introduced her to Emerick Miller. He swept her off her feet! Their marriage in 1990 opened a new window of life for both of them. Over 20 years, they traveled and visited each other's friends and family, and puttered around the house. They were active members of Trinity Presbyterian Church, where Louise served a term as treasurer, helped out in the food pantry, and prepared newsletters and bulletins. Louise kept all of her grandkids for a few weeks each summer so they would know each other - because some lived in Iowa and some in Florida.
Louise moved to Iowa in 2019 where she lived with her daughter Jeanie's family, and never quite got used to Iowa winters--she began wearing her red wool coat as soon as the temperature dropped below 70! Louise is survived by her daughters Debbie (David Taggart) Drago and Jeanie (Kevin) Thomas; daughter-in-law Donna Gilbert; stepdaughters Avery (Bill-deceased) Harris and Judy (Butch) McEwen; 9 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and her sister Barbara (Ben-deceased) Cobb.
Louise was preceded in death by her parents; husband Emerick Miller; brothers George C. ("Sonny Boy"), WK ("Dub"), and KW ("K") Harbin; sister Joyce ("Sister") Pullam; and son Bill Gilbert, and great-grandson Caleb Blaylock.
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