Georgiana E. Miars, of Niles
Georgiana Elinor McKinley Timm Miars, 91, of Niles, Niles business owner, mother of eight, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning, Oct. 21,2020, at Brentwood Assisted Living in Niles.
Georgie was born on Sept. 9, 1929, in Michigan City, to Clara Marie (Fethke) McKinley. Georgie’s father, George Dewey McKinley, passed away unexpectedly just before Georgie was born. When she was 4 years old, her mother married Oscar A. Timm, a conductor and brakeman for the New York Central Rail-road. The family moved to Niles in 1935 when the railroad relocated its Middle Division point away from Michigan City, Indiana, to Niles.
A 1948 graduate of Niles High School, Georgie attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on an academic scholarship. Home on a school break, Georgie met Camden Morgan Miars, a handsome auburn-haired sailor just home from a stint in the U.S. Navy. He was a Niles boy that flew airplanes and played the trumpet in a dance band. They married on June 11, 1949, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Niles.
As a newlywed, Georgie worked in the Niles Community Schools Administration Offices. Over the next 13 years, she gave birth to eight children which made for a full and very busy life. When asked which child was her favorite, she always replied, “You’re all my jewels.”
In 1965, Cam and Georgie co-founded Camden TV and Appliance in downtown Niles where they sold some of the first color TVs, hi-fi stereos and LP record albums. Camdens has continued to serve the Niles area for three generations, now owned by their son, Mark (Pam) Miars and their grandson, Jeff (Leah) Miars.
In her 50s, Georgie became a licensed Real Estate Agent, starting another family business, Century 21 Miars and Miars Real Estate, with Cam and their son, Greg Miars.
In 1984, she completed her bachelor of arts degree at Michigan State University. Living on campus with Cam in married housing, they were featured on the cover of 50 Plus Magazine and interviewed about going back to college after age 50. Their youngest son was at Michigan State at the same time and enjoyed waving to them as they rode by on bikes on their way to class.
Upon graduation, Cam and Georgie relocated to Yuma, Arizona, where Georgie worked for the Bureau of Land Management while Cam trained military pilots to use a flight simulator. They returned to Niles in the late ‘80s where Georgie worked in the Trust Department of Old Kent Bank in downtown Niles. Her co-workers described her as a bright star with a ready smile.
Known for her kind nature, patience and beauty, she loved spending time with family and friends. She hosted gatherings in her home and handled the logistics of family vacations to a Lake Michigan cottage or to Florida with a tent camper. An accomplished seamstress, she enjoyed making clothing and costumes for her kids, teaching her daughters how to sew and encouraging all of the kids in their academics, arts, sports and hobbies. She loved watching songbirds, cultivating flowers and solving crossword puzzles (in ink!).
She served her community by volunteering for the St. Mary’s Church Food Bank, the Niles High School Reunion Committee and the Niles Historical Society.
Cam and Georgie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1998 with all of their kids and grandkids in attendance prior to Cam’s death on Dec. 19, 2003. Georgie was also preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Judy (Monte) Bauer; and Cam’s twin sisters; and brothers-in-law, Joyce (Jim) Betchek and Janyce (Robert) Etzcorn.
Surviving family members include her best friend and frequent dinner companion, Otto Dunnuck, of Niles; her eight children, Mark (Pam) Miars, Madelon “Lonnie” (Joseph) Heywood, Gregory (Laura) Miars, Dean (Christine) Miars, Mary Miars, Anita (Steven) Schultz, Joanie Gentry and James (Tamara) Miars; 16 grandchildren, Dawn (John) Mosey, Laura (Seth) Proctor, Jeffrey (Leah) Miars, Lindsay Miars, Marissa Miars, Grant Miars, Megan Mace, Elizabeth (Weston) Mace-Amick, Max (Shannon) Schultz, Stockton (Courtney) Schultz, Alexander (Elizabeth) Schultz, Graham (Kayla) Gentry, Katie (Dan) Deitrich, Courtney Miars, Abby Miars and Olivia Miars; and 16 great-grandchildren, Michael, Jillian, Matthew, Luke, Harlow, Lola, Emerson, Navy, Knox, Brighton, Merritt, Calvin, Jack, Jovie, Kennedy and Emily; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews.
Georgie’s family is honoring her request for a private family celebration of life. Contributions in memory of Georgiana Miars may be made in lieu of flowers to St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 217 S. Lincoln, Niles MI 49120 osvonlinegiving.com/1177Niles District Library, 620 E. Main St., Niles, MI 49120 nileslibrary.com/support-the-library/or Fernwood Botanical Gardens, 13988 Rangeline Rd., Niles, MI 49120 fernwoodbotanical.org/tributes.
The family would like to thank the staff at Brentwood of Niles and Grace Hospice for their excellent care.
Online words of condolence to the family may be left at halbritterwickens.com or to Mark Miars at Camdens, 3108 S. 11th St., Niles, MI 49120.