Phone: (906) 786-2142
400 S 10th St. - Escanaba, Michigan 49829
West 3755 US 2 - Spalding, Michigan 49886
Rita Rose Miller
Date of Death: January, 02 2021

          Rita Rose Miller, age 90, of Escanaba passed away on Saturday January 2, 2021 peacefully with family by her side.
          Rita was born June 16, 1930 in Escanaba the daughter of Leslie "Pat" and Elvira (Campbell) Miller. She attended Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and received a teaching degree. She taught first and second grade throughout her teaching career, which included St. Ann's of Escanaba. She also taught CCD classes in the local area.
          Her love for children led her to a career with the Girl Scout organization as a Field Director in Upper and Lower Michigan. During her time with the Girl Scouts she ran many day camps and specialized camp experiences. Locally, many events were held at Camp Wi He Tonga in Brampton, often partnering with the Boy Scouts.
          Rita continued her involvement with child development and community service while living in lower Michigan and California during her employment with the Head Start Program. She was instrumental in program development and in opening several Head Start locations in the San Diego, California area.
          Rita continued her community service in Escanaba during retirement by participating in Delta County TRIAD/RSVP, a Senior Volunteer Program of the Community Action Agency. While working with the TRIAD she assisted in writing a grant to add time onto a local crosswalk that Escanaba Seniors frequented. She also aided West Highland Apartments in acquiring funding for a computer lab, as well as other items to improve the lives of the residents. During her 20 plus years as a resident of West Highland she served on many committees.
          Genealogy was her passion in her later years. She volunteered at the Escanaba Family History Center assisting others research their genealogy. She authenticated a great deal of personal family historical information going back as far as the 1300's and compiled a book which she shared with family.
          Rita is survived by six children: James (Maggie) Reiffers, Mary Kay Reiffers, Janet Reiffers, Lisa Gilbert, Gerald (Rhonda) Reiffers and Paul (Karen Wierenga) Reiffers, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
          She was preceded in death by her parents, two sons: Robert and Jay Reiffers, two infant great-grandsons: Jack and Gage Huffman, three brothers: Robert, Joseph and William Miller, one sister: Mary Johnson, and a son-in-law: Dennis Gilbert.
          Services celebrating Rita's life are being postponed until a later date this year. The date and time will be announced by the Allo Coolman Funeral Homes.
          Please visit to send online condolences to her family.

  • "I have many fond memories of Aunt Rita. She visited our farm in Boney Falls many times while I was growing up. I also visited her when she lived and/or visited California. She also visited my home in Winchester. I got updates for the Reiffers family genology from her. She was a very sweet lady and always generous with her time. . Heavon has another angel. Rest in peace Aunt Rita."
    -Elizabeth Way Herner

  • "Condolences from our family to yours. We appreciate Aunt Rita’s genealogy work and transfer of that history. We have fond memories of family reunions with Aunt Mary and Aunt Rita leading the way. Sincere sympathy for the loss of your mother. Much peace to her children / my cousins. With love to all. "
    -Karen VanDamme

  • "I am so blessed to have known Rita. She was generous of heart and compassion. I learned so much from her. Condolences to her family. Her smile was infectious, her memories and works of kindness are many. I look forward to one day sharing another fit of laughter with her. "
    -Charlotte Groleau

  • "So sorry for your families loss. Such good times and memories of your whole family. Rosemary and I visited her awhile back. So glad we did."
    -Lynn Chenie

  • "She always had a smiling face and wonderful personality whenever I came into the Family History Library to do my genealogy. "
    -Bud Lemire

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