KATHLEEN DIANE MILLER, “KATHIE” was born in Hendricks, MN to Alfred James Erickson and Doris Margaret (Cornelson) Erickson on January 17th, 1945. She attended high school in Pipestone and furthered her education by earning her Associates Degree in Accounting at Minnesota West in 1994. Kathie was the second oldest of 8 children and spent time helping her mom with her younger siblings.
In 1962, she gave birth to a baby boy and made the difficult decision to place him with a wonderful family in Rock Rapids, IA. She often said this was the hardest thing she had ever done, but she knew he would have the best life possible. His adoptive parents, (Ralph and Angie Hagedon), kept in touch with Kathie and sent pictures to her of their son, Brian Clark Hagedon. She then moved to Minneapolis and worked for Pittsburgh Paint before moving to Mason City, IA. While living in Mason City, she met Wesley Heminger and they were married in August 1964. After 14 years, she and Wes divorced. In 1978, Kathie moved back to Pipestone, MN, and began working at Ralph’s Tavern, a business owned by her mother Doris “Wulf” Wollmuth. There, she met her soulmate. She was united in marriage to Kenneth “Joe” Miller on October 6th, 1979.
In October 1981, they suffered the loss of a daughter, Mindy Kathleen Miller, who was stillborn. In October 1982, they were blessed with a baby girl, Kelli Jo Miller. In March 1987, they again suffered the loss of another daughter, Kammy Jill Miller, also stillborn.
Kathie began working at Bayliner Marine in 1980 where she made many good friendships. Both she and Joe worked there for close to 15 years until she decided to go back to school to get an accounting degree from Minnesota West. She graduated with honors in 1994, and in 1995 began working for the Edgerton and later the Woodstock Grain elevators. She became employed by Hyde Oil, later called Growmark Lubricants until she retired in 2010.
In April 2013, she lost Joe to cancer. Soon after, she gifted the family home to her daughter, Kelli and moved directly next door. A house that was purchased by family friends and renovated for her so she could be close to Kelli. She was so thankful to be surrounded by her friends and family. Kathie continued to live at home until December 12th, 2022 when she fell at home and became a resident at the Good Samaritan Communities of Pipestone. She passed away on December 30th, 2022, at the Pipestone County Hospice House, very peacefully with her daughter and family by her side.
Kathie enjoyed camping and fishing at Lake Benton and made many long-lasting friendships with other camping families. She and Joe would take Kelli camping and often times another niece or friend. She was “Mom” to several of Kelli’s friends growing up, and always made everyone feel loved and welcome in her home. Kathie enjoyed crocheting and knitting, and was often making blankets, potholders, slippers and hats for everyone she knew. She enjoyed doing crossword puzzles and often told her daughter how the expert and challenger crosswords were a piece of cake. Kathie was the neighborhood “Grandma.” She was quick to hand out a sucker or a hug to any nearby kids and their friends.
Kathie is survived by her daughter, Kelli Jo (fiancé, Chris Kelley) Miller of Pipestone MN; son, Brian (Kristin) Hagedon of Eldora, IA; siblings: Harold Wulf of Ames, IA, Chuck (Wanda) Wulf of Mason City, IA, Sharon Woitaszewski of Slayton, MN, Karen Peeso of Wabasso, MN, and Lori (Brad) Delaney of Sioux Falls, SD. She was preceded in death by her parents, Doris and Alfred; and step-father, Henry Wulf; one sister, Connie Popma; one brother, Jerold Erickson; brothers-in-law, Gary and Dennis Miller and Delwin Lopau; and two stillborn daughters, Kammy Jill and Mindy Kathleen.