Miller was born to the late Alvin Gensmer and Kathleen Caughlin
in Horicon, WI on October 5, 1958. She passed away peacefully
in her sleep in Lehi, UT on May 5, 2014. She is survived
by her husband, Greg Miller, her mother, Kathleen Bascombe,
siblings: Mary (Kevin) Kuzdas, Dick (Linda) Gensmer, Ann
Peters, Sue (Paul) Marquardt, Sandy (Eugene) Rossing, Heidi
(Barry) Lueck, five children: Kathy (Reese) Reynolds, Ashley
(Mike) Nelson, Michael (Maranda), Ross, Mark (Audrey), and
18 (soon to be 20) grandchildren.
Debbie was a woman who loved people, and the more she loved
you, chances are, the more she would pester and tease you.
She was quick with a smile and a joke, and eager to embrace
people around her. Debbie’s was a life of different
chapters. The first was her childhood in Wisconsin, where
she grew up with her six siblings and loving mother and
father. She was an energetic and driven young lady who loved
the dramatic arts. She was a great student, ultimately moving
on to nursing school in which field she began to work.
While she was a nursing student the next chapter started
taking shape, when she met a gentle young medical resident,
Greg Miller. Through Greg she was introduced to the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which she soon joined.
Her family and her faith would be the center of the rest
of her life. It wasn’t long before she and Greg began
dating more seriously, and eventually were married in the
LDS Washington D.C. temple. They soon began their family
and Debbie made the decision to stop working as a nurse
and dedicate herself to her rapidly growing family.
After medical school, Greg and Debbie moved their family
to Jasper, IN, where Debbie quickly became an iconic super-mom,
organizing dinner clubs, serving as PTA president, tole
painting, cross stitching, scrapbooking, arranging children’s
play groups, and serving vigorously in her church and community.
Despite having a full house of 5 rambunctious young children,
Debbie was a model of energy and vivacity both as a mother
and a servant of others. She was the mom with whom even
her kids’ friends loved to hang out. When her own
kids weren’t home, that didn’t stop their friends
from stopping by the house, just to hang out with Debbie.
She could poke fun and crack jokes with the best of them,
and they always felt welcomed and loved in her home. And
all this she did while managing through the impossibly unpredictable
schedule of an ob/gyn husband.
After her last child was born, the Millers moved to Orem,
UT, where the next chapter of her life would commence. It
was one of faith and patience, as Debbie was diagnosed with
fibromyalgia, which became extreme and, on more days than
not, even debilitating. Debbie’s quick wit and infectious
smile didn’t wane, but her strength was severely depleted
and it broke her heart that in many ways she had lost the
ability to care for, serve and support so many people as
she once had.
However, in the ways she could, she continued to reach
out and be a shoulder for those in need. She was always
checking in with her loved ones, looking for ways to be
helpful. She was delightfully unpredictable with her grandchildren,
taking them to the hotel for the evening, sneaking treats
and gifts into their bags, letting them stay up all hours
of the night to watch movies, eat candy, and play games.
All this she would do, knowing that the price would be significant
pain and difficulty for her in subsequent days and weeks,
but she would do this nonetheless, to ensure her grandchildren
knew her, and felt her genuine love for them.
The last two years of her life were spent serving a mission
for her church in Nauvoo, Illinois. It was an appropriate
closing chapter of her mortal life; serving other people
and God as well as she was able.
We remember Debbie with her sparkling smile, bubbly laugh,
and wry sense of humor. We will miss her deeply, but are
comforted in our shared faith that she is free from pain
and at peace in the presence of our Creator. We love you
Debbie, and God be with us all until we meet again.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday,
May 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Pheasant Pointe LDS Stake
Center Chapel, 890 West 3070 North, Lehi. Family and friends
may call from 11:30 to 1:30 prior to the service at the
church. Donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s
Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. https://shop.stjude.org/GiftCatalog/donation.do?cID=14262&pID=24671.