Cecilia Miller

Cecilia E Miller (Olbrantz)

Friday, November 22nd, 1935 - Saturday, October 31st, 2020
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Cecilia “Ceil” Eleanor Miller
November 22, 1935 – October 31, 2020

Everyone who met her liked her, and everyone who knew her loved her.

A woman of many artistic endeavors, a selfless soul, and the matriarch of our family left us unexpectedly on October 31, 2020, at the age of 84.

She was born in Cudahy, WI and grew up in South Milwaukee. She attended St. Adalbert’s Church and School, where she was the youngest in her class. She graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1953.

We take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with the love of her life, her husband Clifford H. Miller of Cudahy, to whom she was married for 39 years, until his death in 1993. She was also preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary Olbrantz. She was further preceded by her siblings, Richard, Dorothy, John, and Florence.

She gifted kindness, optimism, a love of learning, and an appreciation of the arts to her children Mitchell, Michael (Karyn), Kelly (Deanna), Dean (Rosa), and Lance (Myra). Her daughters-in-law all considered her to be a second mother.

She was incredibly generous with her grandchildren, Kenneth, David, Shannon, Erinn, Daniel, Margaret, Katharine, Randolph, Amanda, Samuel, and Joann. She was also loved by her great-grandchildren, Sean, Isabel, Samantha, Kylie, Aidan, Mitchell, and Hania. This year she celebrated the birth of her first great-great-grandchild, River.

She is further survived by her godchildren, Neil “Bill” Newkirk, and Wendy Lawson Cantarella, as well by many nieces and nephews, other family, and friends.

Cecilia had a variety of jobs during her lifetime. Her first job was as a receptionist at The Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper. Her heart would skip a beat whenever she would tell the story about the day actor Jeffrey Hunter came into the building. She also sold furniture and window treatments for many years, as well as working the giftwrap counter at her local Gimbels Department Store.

Her favorite jobs were those where her creativity would shine. She was the head floral designer at a Stein’s Garden Center, and later in life, she ran her own small business, “Florals by Ceil.” Those skills were evident in the lavish landscaping of her own yard, and the elegant creations she produced for multiple family weddings.

Her other artistic hobbies included painting, interior design, and baking, which she considered an art form. She loved modern sculpture, black-and-white photography, tiki aesthetic, 1950s memorabilia, classic country music, and the performing arts. In the 1960s and 70s, she and her husband were avid square dancers, and attended many national conventions and competitions.

She believed that you never stop growing as an artist, and always saw her home in Waterford as a permanent work in progress. At the time of her death, she was nearing the completion of a kitchen remodel, and was considering a new look for her living room as well. One of the greatest tragedies of her untimely death is that all her future projects will go unrealized.

She and Cliff also loved to travel together by themselves, or with family. They visited many national parks, and treasured Florida and California. Memories of Peaceful Valley, Colorado held a special place in her heart. In her later years, she relished traveling with Kelly’s family to Hawaii and to the Disney properties.

Her devotion to the spirit of Christmas cannot be overstated. Plans usually started in the spring, and the color scheme for that year’s tree was usually decided right after Easter. Every present, menu item, and roll of wrapping paper were carefully chosen. Her decorations were a wonder to behold, as every ornament was placed with precision.

To create a truly magical holiday, she endured months of work and late nights, but it was a labor of love. It was all worth it to her, when she could sit back and watch her family open their gifts on the one day of the year we were all together.

Our family will miss her kind words and sage advice.

We’ll miss treats like peanut squares, hello dolly bars, lemon squares, pineapple cake, cheese torte, and her mother’s apple cake.

We’ll miss tales of her shopping trips and the great bargains she was able to find.

We’ll miss her beautiful handwriting.

Most of all, we’ll miss the pride she had in the people we became because of her guidance and care.

Special thanks to the staff at St. Luke’s Medical Center, especially Jackie Budynek, NP, who cared so kindly for Cecilia in her final days.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday November 12, 2020 at:
Divine Mercy Parish
800 Marquette Avenue
South Milwaukee, WI 53172
9:00 am – 11:00 am Visitation
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Mass

Immediately after the mass, a committal service will be observed at:
Holy Sepulcher Cemetery
3800 E College Ave
Cudahy, WI 53110

The parish capacity limitation is set at 250 people.
There is no capacity limitation at the cemetery.

Proper facemask etiquette, including consistent wear and over the nose placement, will be observed at both venues.

In lieu of monetary gifts to the family, we kindly ask that donations be made to The American Heart Association, The American Diabetes Association, and Toys for Tots.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Thursday, November 12th, 2020 |
    Thursday, November 12th, 2020
    Holy Sepulcher
    3800 East College Avenue
    Cudahy, WI 53110-3202
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Visitation

    Thursday, November 12th, 2020 | 9:00am - 11:00am
    Thursday, November 12th, 2020 9:00am - 11:00am
    Divine Merch Parish
    800 Marquette Avenue
    South Milwaukee, WI 53172-2637
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, November 12th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Thursday, November 12th, 2020 11:00am
    Divine Mercy Parish
    800 Marquette Avenue
    South Milwaukee, WI 53172-2637
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Amanda, Samuel, Joann and Hannia and With Love - Julie, Ashley, Dana, & Alicyn sent flowers to the family of Cecilia E Miller (Olbrantz).
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Amanda, Samuel, Joann and Hannia

Posted at 10:54am
Love you always and forever Grandma
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Amanda, Samuel, Joann and Hannia purchased flowers for the family of Cecilia Miller. Send Flowers


With Love - Julie, Ashley, Dana, & Alicyn

Posted at 09:17pm
Amanda, our hearts go out to you and your family during this difficult time.
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With Love - Julie, Ashley, Dana, & Alicyn purchased the Your Light Shines for the family of Cecilia Miller. Send Flowers


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