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Martha Ann Zempel Miller Obituary

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Martha Ann Zempel Miller

Waverly, Ohio

July 29, 1942 - May 18, 2024

Martha Ann Zempel Miller Obituary

Rev. Martha Z. (Marty) Miller, born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 29, 1942, was the daughter of Reinhold Wilhelm Zempel and Edith Rosa Atkins Zempel. The youngest of four children, Martha was preceded in death by her parents, and her siblings, Robert Earl Zempel, Barbara Mae Zempel Parsons (Charles), Agnes Pauline Zempel Dodge (Russell), and by her former husband, James Theodore Miller.

Martha is survived by her children, Lynn Sadako Miller of Fairfax, Virginia and Eric Wayde Miller of Indianapolis, Indiana, her nephews, David Zempel (Donna) and David Parsons, nieces Laura Zempel and Susan Parsons, and her cousins, Jeanette Frazier and Carol Zempel.

A graduate of South High School in Willoughby, Ohio, Martha received a BSEd from Bowling Green University, Bowling Green Ohio, and a MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. Upon graduating from Bowling Green State University, Martha served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Following her Navy career she devoted her energies to the tasks of homemaker, volunteer, and student. Post seminary, Rev. Miller served the National Capital Presbytery as Assistant for Justice Ministries. In 1989 she was called to be Pastor of the Catoctin Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), in Waterford, Virginia. After a successful ministry in Waterford, she served as Interim Associate Executive for Mission for the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and later as Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Utica, New York. Her life journey led her to live in a variety of communities, from Ohio to Virginia, Maryland to Rota, Spain, Coronado, California to Aiea, Hawaii, and back to the east coast in Virginia, North Carolina, and Utica, New York. Upon retirement, Martha returned to Ohio, choosing Bristol Village in Waverly for her final home.

After a courageous struggle with failing health, Martha Miller died in Waverly on May 18th 2024. Her interment will be at Cool Spring Natural Cemetery at Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, VA at a date to be determined.

Those are the facts of a life. Facts only hint at the larger truths that define this fascinating, challenging, fun-loving, and determined woman. Throughout her life she quietly chose the path less traveled. Marty was the first female in her family to obtain a college degree. In an era when women in the military were rare, she joined the Navy. Raising a family during wartime (Vietnam) and managing households during various moves from station to station, Marty chose to continue her education after the family was settled in Virginia.

Being of a deep and abiding faith, her faith was demonstrated by how she lived with others, and how she related to the world around her. Marty chose to enter the Anglican Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Thus began her career in ministering to others, leading her teams by using encouragement as well as bridging connections for greater support. Throughout her career, setting an example of courtesy and respect for others. Her daughter can attest to the plethora of compliments for Marty’s thoughtfulness, and “wonderful thank you notes.”

Marty had a talent for community. After retiring from her career, she gathered about her a group of companions who met for tea and games in a variety of local establishments. She invited folks into the group, established a schedule, helped to select the tea shops or restaurants where they could gather for an extended period of fun, games, and conversation. In traveling together, in laughter and sharing they found community and companionship and strength in what could otherwise have been a time of loneliness and isolation. Marty believed in the redeeming power of community for herself and for others, and she set about to make community possible. When asked what Marty cares about most about, her niece replied, “family, and spreading kindness.”

Marty had a few phrases she said described her mindset: “All life is about change,” and another: “Making no decision is a decision – with consequences.” In some ways, these insights served as mantras with which she confronted the final crises of her life. Marty chose to make the decision to live life as fully as possible and to travel the final road with her companions.

Once, in talking to her niece, Marty pointed to a painting of a butterfly in her brother’s sickroom. Marty commented that death, the exit from this life, is somewhat akin to a butterfly’s metamorphosis – a change, a transformation, not exactly comfortable – but a portal through which we pass to something better. Those of us who know Martha Ann Zempel Miller will concur in her niece’s assessment: “I am of the firm opinion the world is a better place because of Aunt Marty. Not in some giant, earth-shattering way; but rather in the cumulative effect of making a small difference in many, many people’s lives, one day at a time.”

In remembrance, kindly send a gift to Bristol Village Foundation, 660 E. 5th Street, Waverly, OH 45690. ‘In memory of’ can be written on the check or included in accompanying correspondence. There is also an option to make a gift online here: https://www.nationalchurchresidences.org/donate/bristol-village-foundation/ . There is a place in the online form to note that it is a memorial gift.

www.boyerfuneral.com


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Martha Ann Zempel Miller hosted by Boyer Funeral Home.

Rev. Martha Z. (Marty) Miller, born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 29, 1942, was the daughter of Reinhold Wilhelm Zempel and Edith Rosa Atkins Zempel. The youngest of four children, Martha was preceded in death by her parents, and her siblings, Robert Earl Zempel, Barbara Mae Zempel Parsons (Charles), Agnes Pauline Zempel Dodge (Russell), and by her former husband, James Theodore Miller.

Martha is survived by her children, Lynn Sadako Miller of Fairfax, Virginia and Eric Wayde Miller of Indianapolis, Indiana, her nephews, David Zempel (Donna) and David Parsons, nieces Laura Zempel and Susan Parsons, and her cousins, Jeanette Frazier and Carol Zempel.

A graduate of South High School in Willoughby, Ohio, Martha received a BSEd from Bowling Green University, Bowling Green Ohio, and a MDiv from Virginia Theological Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. Upon graduating from Bowling Green State University, Martha served as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Following her Navy career she devoted her energies to the tasks of homemaker, volunteer, and student. Post seminary, Rev. Miller served the National Capital Presbytery as Assistant for Justice Ministries. In 1989 she was called to be Pastor of the Catoctin Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), in Waterford, Virginia. After a successful ministry in Waterford, she served as Interim Associate Executive for Mission for the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and later as Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Utica, New York. Her life journey led her to live in a variety of communities, from Ohio to Virginia, Maryland to Rota, Spain, Coronado, California to Aiea, Hawaii, and back to the east coast in Virginia, North Carolina, and Utica, New York. Upon retirement, Martha returned to Ohio, choosing Bristol Village in Waverly for her final home.

After a courageous struggle with failing health, Martha Miller died in Waverly on May 18th 2024. Her interment will be at Cool Spring Natural Cemetery at Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, VA at a date to be determined.

Those are the facts of a life. Facts only hint at the larger truths that define this fascinating, challenging, fun-loving, and determined woman. Throughout her life she quietly chose the path less traveled. Marty was the first female in her family to obtain a college degree. In an era when women in the military were rare, she joined the Navy. Raising a family during wartime (Vietnam) and managing households during various moves from station to station, Marty chose to continue her education after the family was settled in Virginia.

Being of a deep and abiding faith, her faith was demonstrated by how she lived with others, and how she related to the world around her. Marty chose to enter the Anglican Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Thus began her career in ministering to others, leading her teams by using encouragement as well as bridging connections for greater support. Throughout her career, setting an example of courtesy and respect for others. Her daughter can attest to the plethora of compliments for Marty’s thoughtfulness, and “wonderful thank you notes.”

Marty had a talent for community. After retiring from her career, she gathered about her a group of companions who met for tea and games in a variety of local establishments. She invited folks into the group, established a schedule, helped to select the tea shops or restaurants where they could gather for an extended period of fun, games, and conversation. In traveling together, in laughter and sharing they found community and companionship and strength in what could otherwise have been a time of loneliness and isolation. Marty believed in the redeeming power of community for herself and for others, and she set about to make community possible. When asked what Marty cares about most about, her niece replied, “family, and spreading kindness.”

Marty had a few phrases she said described her mindset: “All life is about change,” and another: “Making no decision is a decision – with consequences.” In some ways, these insights served as mantras with which she confronted the final crises of her life. Marty chose to make the decision to live life as fully as possible and to travel the final road with her companions.

Once, in talking to her niece, Marty pointed to a painting of a butterfly in her brother’s sickroom. Marty commented that death, the exit from this life, is somewhat akin to a butterfly’s metamorphosis – a change, a transformation, not exactly comfortable – but a portal through which we pass to something better. Those of us who know Martha Ann Zempel Miller will concur in her niece’s assessment: “I am of the firm opinion the world is a better place because of Aunt Marty. Not in some giant, earth-shattering way; but rather in the cumulative effect of making a small difference in many, many people’s lives, one day at a time.”

In remembrance, kindly send a gift to Bristol Village Foundation, 660 E. 5th Street, Waverly, OH 45690. ‘In memory of’ can be written on the check or included in accompanying correspondence. There is also an option to make a gift online here: https://www.nationalchurchresidences.org/donate/bristol-village-foundation/ . There is a place in the online form to note that it is a memorial gift.

www.boyerfuneral.com


To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Martha Ann Zempel Miller hosted by Boyer Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Martha Ann Zempel Miller.