Wednesday, August 26, 1992

Obituary: Violet Bagley Miller - Class of 1934

Newspapers Lose Longtime Leader
By William R. Wineke Wisconsin State Journal

Violet Miller, 76, a director of Madison Newspapers Inc. and wife of The Capital Times publisher Frederick Miller, died Monday of cancer.

She was the niece of William Evjue, founder and editor of The Capital Times, and played a quiet but significant role in the newspaper after Evjue's death in 1970.A petite, quiet person, Miller was never known to use her influence to intimidate others, but her influence was felt, nevertheless.

"She always brought a freshness and spirit that enriched our organization,'' said Jim Burgess, publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal and president of MNI. "She had new ideas and, when she didn't like something, she could say so in the most charming manner.''

Miller was active in a number of community organizations, though she rarely sought leadership roles. She was particularly interested in music, art and other cultural activities in Madison.

She was a member of the Bascom Hill Society, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the Madison Civic Music Association, the Elvehjem Council, Alpha Theta sorority and the Madison Club.

Most recently, she served on the committee developing the Ronald McDonald House of Madison, which will serve as a home for families of children being treated at Madison hospitals.
She also was interested in the work of The Capital Times charities, particularly the Kiddie Camp and, later, the William T. Evjue Foundation. She was elected president of the Kiddie Camp in 1964.

David Zweifel, editor of The Capital Times, said, "Vi Miller meant an awful lot to us. She stood by us when maybe it wasn't always easy, and her work on both the newspaper's board and the foundation's board has made Madisona better community as a result. We are deeply saddened by her death.''

The former Violet Bagley was close to Evjue and his wife, Zillah, as she grew up in Madison and shared their love of the arts. She was a friend of Frank Lloyd Wright and frequently spent Sunday evenings at Taliesin in Spring Green.

She was married to Frederick Miller in 1939, a marriage that was sustained by mutual love for more than 50 years.

The Millers were virtually inseparable. They traveled the world together, attending concerts and plays and collecting antiques. Violet Miller frequentlywrote travel columns about her journeys for The Capital Times.

At home, however, she lived quietly and took great joy in her home on ArborDrive, watching the seasons change in the woods surrounding Lake Wingra.

She is survived by her husband and by two nieces, Nancy Gage-Finney, Madison; and Marsha Rigney, Phoenix, Ariz.; and a nephew, Donald Miller, MountHoreb.

Funeral services will be held privately. The family has suggested that memorials be made to the charity of one's choice.

Originally published as a news story in the Wisconsin State Journal on August 26, 1992

Note: Violet Bagley Miller's class year is based on information in the booklet prepared for the 35th reunion of the Class of 1934.