February 21, 1948 - July 10, 2018
Mary Ellen passed away July 10, 2018 after a short, sudden battle with cancer. Ellen was born February 21, 1948 to Tom and Mary Ellen Powers, the first of 13 children. Her greatest joy was being with family. She is survived by her devoted husband, Frank Miller; her loving stepdaughters, Sarah Miller (Jon Konrath), Elizabeth Miller (Matthew Stratton), and Cristina Miller; and her twin grandsons, whom she adored: Giacomo and Ambrose Stratton-Miller. Memories of Ellen will be treasured by her beloved siblings: Tom Powers, Ann (Ken) Brune, Patrice Powers, Maureen Powers-Todt (Jay Todt), Kevin (Penny Hasselmann) Powers, Tim Powers, Michael (Paula) Powers, Kathleen (Joe) Muraski, Margaret (Joe) Edwards, Jim (Mary) Powers, and Robert Powers. Ellen was the doting aunt of 49 nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, with another on the way. Ellen was preceded in death by her dear parents and brother, John.
Though she would never admit it, Ellen was an exceptional woman. In high school she was class president, valedictorian, and a basketball star – scoring 34 points in the state championship game. Her success continued at Marquette University, where she graduated with high honors in 1970, majoring in philosophy. After college, Ellen enjoyed serving her community first as a caseworker, then assistant to County Executive John Doyne, where she directed the County’s job development programs. Ellen later took great pride in her 37-year career at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, rising to Chief Operating Officer. At the MMAC she spearheaded scholarship programs and numerous economic development projects. Most recently she concentrated on efforts to strengthen diversity in the Milwaukee region’s workforce and executive ranks. Through it all she relished time spent collaborating with colleagues and mentoring young professionals.
Modest about her achievements, Ellen rarely spoke of herself except with reference to family, friends, hobbies, and pets she loved. She was known for her gentle disposition, yet was remarkably strong in character and in being. Ellen will be affectionately remembered by all who knew her for her soft-spoken wisdom, Irish humor, skilled gardening, joyful dancing, midnight baking, and, most importantly, her generous spirit and abundant grace.
Visitation will take place on Friday, July 20, from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM at Gesu Church, West Wisconsin Avenue at North 12th Street in Milwaukee followed by the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial at 1:30 PM with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to the Mary Ellen Powers Scholarship Fund at the MMAC Community Support Foundation, 756 N. Milwaukee St., Ste. 400, Milwaukee WI 53202.
“I am peaceful. I will have time to see you all again…With great love for you all.” -Ellen