Marjorie Jean (Norton) Miller, age 64, passed away peacefully November 26, 2021, due to complications from COVID-19. She was born December 27, 1956, in Richland, Washington to Henry and Patricia Norton.
Her father was a Senior Programmer for IBM (Most people know that stands for International Business Machines, but on the inside, it often stood for I’ve Been Moved!). Growing up, the family lived in the communities of: Richland WA, Los Angeles CA, San Jose CA, Poughkeepsie NY, Boulder CO, Morristown NJ, Rochester MN.
As the family moved from Morristown NJ to Rochester MN, they dropped Marjorie off at Tennessee Temple University for her freshman year of college. So where was she from? New Jersey? Minnesota? It was a confusing and unsettling year. The following year she transferred to Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Wisconsin to complete her education with emphasis on elementary education and mission work. While attending Maranatha, Marjorie met her husband, John Miller of Grand Rapids MI, and after a two-year courtship, they were married in June of 1980.
Marjorie loved so much. Her love language was giving gifts. She gave gifts all the time to the people in her life, at work, church, and to her family.
Marjorie had a heart for missions at a young age expressed by her caring for disadvantaged and needy people. She exhibited this by spending a summer while in high school volunteering at Shepherds Home in Wisconsin, working with the residents there. At that time Shepherds ministered to many school-aged children as well as adults. Since then, the ministry has changed focus to helping adults with learning disabilities to become functional in today’s society. Marjorie learned Sign Language to be able to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing. She interpreted for church services while in college.
While in college, Marjorie spent a summer working with missionary Ruth Yost in Jacmel Haiti. She helped with many ministries while there: a Bible Conference, the School, putting on Vacation Bible Schools, and helping in nearby churches with children’s services, teaching through an interpreter several times. This was a life changing event in her life. Later, in 1992 we as a family “vacationed” for 2 weeks in Haiti helping at the Medical Clinic in Cayes Jacmel, 10 miles east of Jacmel. We returned in 1993 to work at the clinic and nearby churches for 5 months. We returned to the States intending to return to help in Haiti full-time, but this ambition never came to fruition.
For several years Marjorie worked for MDA helping to raise funds for Jerry’s Kids. She loved that work. Through the years she has worked in the churches she attended, taught children’s classes, worked with the deaf, and helped with music by playing her baritone horn and singing. Her favorite hymn was “How Great Thou Art.”
Marjorie’s life verse was Luke 9:61-62 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Marjorie saw these words as a challenge to live faithfully for her God. It was her hope and desire to share the love of God with others. She wanted others to know that they too could experience the hope of eternal life that she knew by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Marjorie is survived by her husband, John Miller; her son and his wife, Reuben and Colleen Miller; and grandson, Conner Miller; her mother, Pat Norton; her sister and husband, Janet and Dan Abbott; sister, Debbie Norton; sister, Christie Norton; as well as numerous nephews and nieces. All of these she loved and touched deeply.
The Memorial Service celebrating Marjorie’s life will be held Friday afternoon December 10, 2021, at 1:00pm at O’Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst Chapel, with visitation one hour prior at 3980 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Pastor Robby Greene, lead pastor of Lavon Drive Baptist Church in Garland TX, will be officiating. He is a close family friend whom we love and appreciate very much. We thank him for graciously offering to be with us at this time. The service will also be live cast on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gerstgrandrapids/ Interment will be at South Boston Cemetery, Saranac MI.
We ask that in lieu of flowers, you consider making a donation in support of Haiti at Baptist Mid Missions. Marjorie always had a heart to help the people of Haiti. You can help her do that by supporting Baptist Mid Missions with a note that it is a memorial for Marjorie Miller. All donations in her name will go to the Haiti Relief Fund, the Medical Clinic we spent time at and to a Haitian missionary working in the area where we lived in Haiti.
Make checks payable to Baptist Mid-Missions Foundation.
Baptist Mid-Missions Foundation
PO Box 308011
Cleveland, OH 44130-8011
By Credit or Debit Card
Call us at 440-826-3930