Frances C. (Fran) Miller, 73, of Rockford, Ohio, passed away on Saturday, December 22, 2018, 12:17 p.m., at Van Wert In-Patient Hospice, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was born on April 6, 1945, in Celina, Ohio, the daughter of Robert L. and Victoria A. (Springer) Gephart and grew up in Rockford, Ohio graduating from Parkway High School in 1963. On October 3, 1964, she married her high school sweetheart, Rolland L. Miller who survives in Rockford. She lived most of her adult life on the Miller family homestead near Chattanooga, Ohio and moved to Rockford in her later years.
Fran served 35 years as a Rural Letter Carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. She loved that her job allowed her to be out on the open road, but most of all she loved serving and talking to her patrons on her route between Rockford and Chattanooga. She was also proud to have been one of the first women carriers in the state. Fran actively participated in the Rural Letter Carriers Association attending many conventions and serving as District President along with several other state-level committees. After retirement from the Postal Service, she also worked at Ketcham’s Furniture and Floor Coverings and Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home where she was the secretary.
Outside of her career, she worked tirelessly to serve others in many community activities and organizations. She was an active member of the St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Rockford and a member of the Women’s Fellowship. She served on the Blackcreek Township Board of Elections, in various Parkway booster organizations, and at the ice cream and pie stand at the Chatt Farmers’ Picnic. Fran was also a member of the Rockford Order of the Eastern Star where she was proud to have learned all five star point lectures.
Fran was an amazing homemaker in addition to her career as a mail carrier. As with everything she did in life, her home and culinary creations were always in perfect order and of the best quality. She was well known for her Cream Pie and other delicious scratch-made recipes that she passed along to her children and community cookbooks she co-authored. She was also a wonderful seamstress and embroiderer who could mend any imperfection. Over the years, she created many elaborate costumes, blankets, and other clothing for her children and grandchildren.
Most of all, Fran loved her family who she always put first. She was so proud of her children, who all succeeded in life with lovely families. She was blessed with six wonderful grandchildren proudly attending school and life events no matter the time or place.
Fran is survived by her devoted husband of 54 years, Rollie, 3 children: Julia A. (John) Churan of Scottsdale, Arizona; Dr. Jill A. (John) Schaeffer, of Raleigh, North Carolina; and John A. (Angela) Miller of Upper Arlington, Ohio, and of course her six loving grandchildren: Justin and Jason Churan, Matthew and Maria Schaeffer, and Ryan and Elena Miller. Also surviving are 3 brothers: Robert (Carol) Gephart, Dick Gephart, and Randy Gephart; 2 sisters: Norma Jean (Roger) Hawkins, and Karen Ward. A brother-in-law, Carl Gangwer also survives. Deceased are 2 sisters: Sharon Gangwer and an infant sister, Mary Carolyn Gephart.
Services will be held on Friday, December 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ on Oregon Rd., Rockford, with Rev. Katherine Beckett officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call at Ketcham-Ripley Funeral Home in Rockford on Thursday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and at the church, one hour prior to the service on Friday. Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s UCC, Rockford or CHP In-Patient Hospice in Van Wert.
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