Mary Ellen Miller

Obituary of Mary Ellen Kauffman Miller

Mary Ellen Kauffman Miller, 85, died August 27, 2018.  She was born March 22, 1933 in Roanoke, Virginia to Marion and Frank Kauffman.


Mary Ellen was married to the love of her life, George Wilson “Bill” Miller, for 57 years.  He asked for her hand in marriage after only three dates.  Their marriage was the joy of her life.  She was most proud of her role as mother to the two successful daughters she and Bill raised together: Barbara Pooley, a financial executive and dedicated education volunteer and Elizabeth (Libby) Kelligrew, a prominent Mecklenburg County district court judge and passionate child advocate.


Prior to raising her daughters, Mary Ellen trained as a stewardess and enjoyed a successful career as a buyer for the Hecht Company in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mary Ellen was passionate about issues in which she believed, especially supporting the Charlotte Symphony and our U.S. military troops.  She was known for her strong opinions and her impeccable knowledge of the English language and was famous for offering helpful “suggestions” on the correct way to speak. She loved great music and enjoyed playing both bridge and golf with Bill.


Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her adored husband Bill.  She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Miller Pooley, daughter Elizabeth (Libby) Kelligrew and her husband Jim Kelligrew, granddaughters Isabel Kelligrew and Elizabeth Stryker Kelligrew, grandson Jay Kelligrew, brothers Edgar Kauffman and Steve Kauffman and many nieces and nephews.  She also leaves behind many treasured friends, especially her daughters-in-spirit Karen Rossitch and Gwen Carreras-Harriss.


The family thanks the dedicated people who cared for Mary Ellen over the past few years.  There were many for whom she cared and who brought joy into her life and made her smile. 


A celebration of life will be held on September 10, 2018 at 10:00 am at Christ Episcopal Church.  The family will receive visitors on Sunday, September 9, 2018 from 4:00 – 6:30 pm at 2743 Beretania Circle.  The family requests donations be sent in lieu of flowers.  Mary Ellen was a friend and patron of both the Charlotte Symphony and the USO of North Carolina.  Donations may be made in her name to the Charlotte Symphony at or the USO of North Carolina, 5501 Josh Birmingham Parkway, P.O. Box 21, Charlotte, NC  28208 or online at