Elna Miller, 91, of Murdo, died Sunday, September 2 at Philip Nursing Home. Services were held at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 11 at Murdo United Methodist Church with visitation one hour prior. Burial will be at the Murdo Cemetery.
Arrangements were placed in the care of Isburg Funeral Chapel. Online condolences may be made at www.isburgfuneralchapels.com
Elna Jeanette Sanderson was born on October 17, 1926, in Murdo, S.D. Her first few years were spent on Horse Creek, south of Murdo; the youngest of six children of Maynard (M.E.) and Mary (Tyrell) Sanderson. Elna attended school in Murdo where music of all kinds was her passion. Elna told her kids about clerking in her Dad’s dry goods store and selling shoes.
On September 29, 1945, she was united in marriage to Gerald R. Miller of Draper, S.D. They lived in Bell Gardens, Calif. for a year and then moved back to Jones County in 1947. Elna and Jerry had 70 good years together. Two daughters, Andrea and Stephanie, and a son, Greg were fortunate to have a very devoted mother. She kept things running smoothly on the home front.
Elna was truly blessed by the Lord with an astounding ear for music. She only had to listen to a melody one time to play it herself. Many evenings or Saturdays, Elna would entertain her family at the piano with selections ranging from Henry Mancini, or Rodgers and Hammerstein to a Boogie Woogie from WWII. She told her kids about playing with a dance band at the Westover Hall as a young woman.
Elna especially enjoyed visiting with her sister, Loretta, and having coffee at a local café. She was interested in all the local news and kept up with friends and family daily. When her parents and sisters moved away from Murdo, she wrote letters daily to stay in touch and looked forward to the replies from California and Michigan. She valued her relationships with family and friends.
In later years, Elna was seen daily making her way to Range Country Lodging where she enjoyed putting a shine on windows and sweeping the sidewalks. Although some of the front desk staff had to stand firm when she insisted on trying to sweep the walks one day when the winds were gusting near 50 mph!
Elna is survived by a daughter, Andrea Sheehan (Harvey) and a son Greg Miller (Carma); eight grandchildren: Alex Yaeger, Jim (Bree) Sheehan, Ashley (Jason) Alteri, Anne (Mike) Franz, Katherine Davis (Ryan) Solyntjes, Renee (Brad) Kortuem, Jordan (Amy) Miller, and Matthew Miller; and eleven great-grandchildren.
Elna was proceeded in death by her parents Maynard and Mary, her brothers Wayne Sanderson and Jeff Sanderson; sisters, Helen Haverberg, Ella Leckey and Loretta Gustafson; a daughter, Stephanie Miller-Davis (John), and her husband, Gerald Miller.