Frances Miller passed into Heaven on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, while residing at the Christian Health Care Center of Lynden, where she was lovingly cared for.
Fran was born to William and Ruby (Haveman) Tjoelker on May 27, 1929, in the family farmhouse on the Markworth Road near Blaine. She had many fond memories of life on the farm with her brothers and sisters Rhoda, Grace, Charley, Maynard, Wilma, Robert (Bud) and Clarence (Chuck).
Fran first noticed a young man named Darrel Miller when she was in grade school, while riding the same school bus. They met again years later when he drove by as she was attending the youth group at her church. He wanted to ask her out and she told him he’d have to attend the youth group if he wanted to see her. He did, and a year later they both said “I Do” as they were married on May 19, 1950. He was the true love of her life.
Frances and Darrel had four children, Chris Edward, Evelyn Kaye, Bruce Adrian and Steven Darrel. Their time together was shortened when Darrel passed away on Nov. 27, 1968, as a young man of 38 years, due to complications of diabetes. Fran was a young widow with four young children to raise.
Challenges and struggles often come our way during the course of our lifetime, and Fran had many in the remaining years of her life after Darrel’s passing. Each one moved her to rely on the Lord for comfort, strength and confidence. She was a survivor, and her faith got her through the hard times.
Fran worked as a bookkeeper for many years at McLain Drug, DeWaard & Bode and several other assorted offices. After she retired, she was active in her church ministries and in the classrooms of her grandchildren, and volunteered at the Lynden food bank.
Fran is survived by her three sons and one daughter, Chris Miller (Vicki) in Bayview, Idaho, Evelyn Kooistra (Louis) in Bellingham, Bruce Miller (Kathy) of Lynden, and Steve Miller (Ellie) of Everson; eight grandchildren, Amy Vallejo (Jake), Ginger Schilperoort (Jason), Misty Williams (Calvin), Ross Miller (Kelsey), Brandon Miller, Shelbie Mark (Nathan), Jocelyn Miller (Curt, deceased) and Chelsie Zandstra (Bart); step-grandchildren Christopher Primmer (Cretia) and Stacy Primmer (Dan); 11 great-grandchildren with another expected in a few weeks; and five step-grandchildren.
She’s also survived by her brothers Charley Tjoelker (Judy), Robert “Bud” Tjoelker (Jayleen) and Clarence “Chuck”Tjoelker (Barb), and sister Wilma DeLeeuw (Bill).
She was preceded in death by her husband, Darrel Miller; grandson Curt Miller; great-grandsons Cooper Mark and Clayton Miller; parents William and Ruby Tjoelker; sisters Rhoda Van Corbach and Grace Te Selle; and brother Maynard Tjoelker.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, at Gillies Funeral Home, Lynden.
Graveside services for family and friends will be held at Monumenta Cemetery of Lynden at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.