Deborah (Debbie) Jane Miller, 69, of Sparta, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Monday, January 16, 2023 at Mayo Clinic Health Systems, La Crosse. She was born on September 22, 1953, to Duane and Shirley (Rich) Downing in Viroqua, WI. She grew up in the Ontario area, and graduated from Brookwood High School in 1972.
Debbie met Jim Miller in 1973. They were married on May 29, 1976, and began building their family together in the Sparta area.
Debbie loved spending time with her kids and grandkids, especially watching them in extracurricular activities, playing board games and cards with them. She enjoyed decorating, feeding and watching birds, Hallmark movies and chocolate. It was important for Debbie to stay in touch with family and do special things for them as she was very loving, caring and thoughtful. She had a very special place in her heart for her dog, Minnie which she rescued from Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter. Some of her favorite times were spent at Downing family gatherings. She enjoyed cheering on the Packers, Brewers and Badgers. Prior to retiring, she worked at Northern Engraving and at MaryCrest Assisted Living unit at Morrow Home Community in Sparta. She also volunteered at Mary Morrow's Attic and was a member of the Sparta Lioness Club.
Debbie is survived by her husband, Jim Miller; children, Jamie (Chad) Bjerke, Jason Miller, and Jeremy Miller; grandchildren, Levi Miller, Madilynn Bjerke, Meghan Miller, and Mason Bjerke; sisters, Jonie (Harry) Curtis, Kim (Tim) Parker, and Kristi (Randy) Muehlenkamp; sister-in-law, Mavis Downing; brother-in-law, Gary (Kathy) Miller; mother-in-law, Patricia Miller; and many other family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Duane and Shirley Downing; brother, Mike Downing; and father-in-law, Leonard Miller.
Private family burial will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com. Memorials in Deborah’s honor can be made to Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter at 15560 WI-131, Tomah, WI 54660.
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home and Cremation, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.