To live in the hearts and minds of those we leave behind

Let us help get you started

Obituary for Elsa M. "Ellie" Miller

Elsa Margaret “Ellie” Miller, 80, of West Salem, passed away October 26, 2023, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Sparta.

She was born March 31, 1943, in La Crosse County, to Rev. Harold and Margaret (Stegeman) Backer. Rev. Backer was called to serve at various parishes around the area and the family made quick work of making each a home. Ellie attended First Ev. Lutheran Grade School and was a 1961 graduate of Dr. Martin Luther High School in New Ulm, Minn. She began her secondary education at Dr. Martin Luther College before transferring to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education.

On December 26, 1964, Ellie married Gary Miller at St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Caledonia, Minnesota.

In 1972, Ellie was called to work as a teacher at Christ Ev. Lutheran School in West Salem; a job she was devoted to for 36 years until her retirement in 2008. She also taught piano lessons for many years and touched the lives of many students.

Ellie was a longtime, active, member of Christ Ev. Lutheran Church in West Salem. She will be remembered as a warm hearted, kind, and loving woman who’s gift of welcoming hospitality has been appreciated by many.

Survivors include her husband, Gary; four children, Pamela (Scott) Wehrs, Paul (Lynn) Miller, Tim Miller (Joan Neinas), and Mark (Jacqueline) Miller; grandchildren, Allyson, Mariah, Austin (Tanner), Karyn, Sean (Lora), Todd (Tina), Nick, Garrett, Patrick, Hunter, Alex, Madison, and Jonathan; sisters, Ruth (Vials) Glaeske, Myrna (Jon) Mahnke, and Mary (Richard) Schlicht; Gary’s siblings and their spouses; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

Ellie was preceded in death by her parents; an infant brother, Duane; and Uncle Charlie.

A Christian Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 2023, at Christ Ev. Lutheran Church in West Salem. Rev. Don Frelitz will officiate. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m., until the time of service. Burial will be held at a later date in the church cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Christ Ev. Lutheran Church or to Christ St. John’s Ev. Lutheran School.

The family would like to extend many thanks to the staff of Creekside and Bridge Path at Morrow Home Community in Sparta.