The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 11, 2012

Ilona H. Miller

The Joplin Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Mrs. Ilona Helena Miller, 93, of Joplin, Mo., departed this life on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, at The Arbors of Silver Creek in Joplin, after months of declining health.

Ilona entered this life on Nov.26, 1919, in Szombathely, Hungary to the late Josef and Maria (Nemeth) Szele.  After graduating from high school in Hungary she went to England in 1939, to study and escape the war, remaining there until 1948.

On May 5, 1948 in Long Island, N.Y., she was united in marriage to a young serviceman, James Miller and to this union two daughters were born. She and James moved to Missouri in 1948, first residing in Webb City and later to Joplin in 1950.  Throughout her life she was a devoted homemaker to her husband and daughters, Deborah and Melissa. She was a member of St. Marys Catholic Church in Joplin and the Joplin Elks Club.  Ilona enjoyed traveling, playing bridge, golfing and dancing.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 57 years, James Miller on March 3, 2006; two brothers, Josef and Ferenc Szele; and a sister, Maria Torok.

Ilona is survived by her two daughters, Deborah M. Miller and husband, James, of Joplin, and Melissa C. Ketcher and husband, Sam, of Baxter Springs, Kan.; four grandchildren, Jason Ketcher and wife, Keoka, Kary Fowler and husband, Chadwick, Casey Miller and Zachary Miller; three great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; as well as a host of other family and friends.

Memorial services for Mrs. Miller are 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the chapel of Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin, Mo., with Father Justin Monaghan officiating. Private burial will be in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Webb City, Mo.

In lieu of flowers memorials are being directed to the Elks Club Christmas Basket Fund and contributions may be left at the mortuary.

On-line condolences may be sent to the family through our website  

Arrangements are under the personal care and direction of the Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary in Joplin, Mo.