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Bonnie Rae Miller

May 4, 1935 — April 20, 2023

Bonnie Rae Miller




Bonnie Rae Miller

May 4, 1935 – April 20, 2023

Madison – Bonnie Rae Miller, 87, passed away peacefully in the loving presence of her children on April 20th, 2023.

Bonnie, Born in Madison, was a lifelong, happy resident of Wisconsin. Not a week went by that she didn’t make sure there was “enough milk in the fridge.” She grew up playing in the Arboretum and Vilas Park near her home and at her father’s meat market on Monroe St.  She graduated from West High School in 1953 and Madison General Hospital School of Nursing in 1957.  She married Jim, the love of her life, in 1957. Together they cultivated lifelong friendships and delighted in dancing, fishing, music, and great humor.  

Bonnie was passionate about her career as a nurse in Labor and Delivery and adored her experiences with colleagues and patients. She always wanted to complete a 4-year college degree, and at the age of 50, proudly graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree from Mount Senario College.

Bonnie’s zest for life continued throughout her years from camping in Northern Wisconsin, listening to jazz in New Orleans, fishing in Florida, and visiting her children from Oregon to the coast of Maine. Bonnie was always ready for “a good story in the making” and instilled this adventurous spirit in her children and grandchildren.  She belonged to the Yahara fishing club and joined a carving club after retirement. She loved the symphony and opera, going with friends whenever possible. Foremost, Bonnie was an avid reader. She would say, “you are never alone with a good book.”

Bonnie dealt with many serious health issues but never let that get her down or diminish her love for life. She was a force and inspiration in the lives of her family and will be deeply and forever missed by them and her many lifelong friends.

Bonnie is survived by her four children: Steven (wife Judy) of Tualatin, OR, David (wife Julie) of Fitchburg, WI., Karen Groat of Falmouth, ME, and Suzanne Kibler (husband Todd) of Delafield, WI.; her seven cherished grandchildren, (Kevin, Alex, Katie, Nick, Hannah, Noah and Jaden); sister, Sandra Tilley and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents Sanford “Ducky” and Hulda (Debower) Gilbertson; husband, James, one brother-in-law (Ron Tilley) and many dear friends.

A Celebration of Bonnie’s Life will be held Saturday, June 3rd at Middleton Community Church, 645 Schewe Road, Middleton. Visiting hours start at 9:30 a.m. with the funeral service at 11am and a Luncheon to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Yahara Fishing Club in honor of Bonnie’s lifelong passion for fishing and teaching kids to fish:

Yahara Fishing Club, for Kid’s Fishing Day and Events

PO Box 259803

Madison, Wisconsin 53725



Cress Funeral & Cremation Service

3610 Speedway Road  Madison

(608) 238-3434

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bonnie Rae Miller, please visit our flower store.


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