Mary Ann E. (Rutledge) Polowa Miller

NORTH CANAAN — Mary Ann E. (Rutledge) Polowa Miller was born in North Canaan on Sept. 26, 1939, to Ann and Leonard Rutledge. 

She was raised in a multigenerational home: three generations living and working at her grandfather’s hotel.

She graduated from high school and from Ladycliff College in 1961 with a degree in history. She started her teaching career in 1961, the same year as her marriage to William Polowa. They settled in North Canaan and she continued teaching, and raised three daughters, Kathryn, Kelly and Kristin “Kiki”. 

She taught kindergarten until 1979, when the family moved to Santa Barbara, Calif. Mary Ann continued teaching at various schools from elementary to high school in California. She was also a certified nursing assistant. She was also very involved in church activities.

In 1988 she met Jerry Miller and they were married in 1989. They lived in Santa Maria, Calif., until 1991, when they moved to Anacortes, Wash. 

Mary Ann continued teaching, and they enjoyed traveling to Europe, Hawaii, New England and several trips to San Diego to visit Kiki and the four grandchildren there.

After Jerry passed in 1999, she continued teaching until 2003, when she moved to San Diego to live with Kiki and her family. She missed teaching, so she took a job at the church preschool. She worked there until 2011 when she finally retired. 

She then returned to Anacortes to live with Kathy. She enjoyed Bible study, working as a deaconess, and caring for friends in need. 

In February 2018, Mary Ann was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer and she chose to enjoy her remaining time with family and friends. She returned to the Lord’s Glory on Oct. 2, 2018, surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her three daughters and their families, Kathy and Don Wenke of Anacortes, Kelly and Mike Preiksa of Mount Vernon, Wash., and Kiki Velasquez of San Diego; her grandson Daniel Wenke and his wife, Megan,and their three children, Camden, Mackenzie and McKaela; her grandson Peter and his wife, Lindsey Leighton; her granddaughter Stephanie Wenke; her grandson Andy Preiksa; and her grandsons Bubba and Jolie, Zachary and Raymond Velasquez; and her granddaughter Kiley Velasquez. 

She is also survived by numerous dear cousins and lifelong friends in the U.S. and France.

A celebration of her life was held Oct. 13 at Anacortes Christian Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent in Mary Ann’s name to Anacortes Christian Church or Grace City Church, Eugene, Ore.

Arrangements are in the care of the Evans Funeral Chapel of Anacortes.  To share a memory of Mary, sign the online guestbook at www.evanschapel.com.