School 17

Margaret (Gourley) Miller

December 5, 1919 ~ February 19, 2022 (age 102)

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Margaret Gourley Miller, 102, a long-time educator, died Saturday, February 19th, 2022. The daughter of the late James Lee and Nora Brooks Gourley of Marion, N. C. , she was preceded in death by her husband James Thomas “Buster” Miller and by her brothers James Lee Gourley, Jr. and Robert Amburn Gourley.

After receiving her B.A. in Education from Furman University, she taught in North Wilkesboro and McDowell County for nine years before relocating to Rutherfordton, N.C. She taught Latin and English at Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School for 30 years.  During that time, she received her Master’s in School Administration from Appalachian State University. In 2017, she was selected by the Rutherford County Schools Education Foundation to be inducted into the Rutherford County Schools Hall of Fame.

Margaret was a member of the Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church, serving as elder, deacon, Sunday School teacher, circle leader and member of the choir. For her service she received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The church was a vital part of her life.

Margaret had a wide range of interests and was an active member of several organizations, including the Rutherfordton Garden Club, the Stringfield Music Club, the Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers’ Sorority, the Griffith Rutherford Chapter of the DAR, and the Norris Public Library Board. After retirement, she became a volunteer at the Rutherford Hospital where she devoted 6000 hours of service before retiring at the age of 92.

In 1981, she retired from teaching and spent time traveling with her friends. Margaret often said that she had planned to be a flight attendant but couldn’t get the job because she was too short.  Traveling to Europe,

Australia and Fiji were some of her favorite trips. Another joy in her life was playing bridge. She was a member of several bridge clubs and continued to play until she was 97 years old. Margaret also had a love for reading and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Norris Public Library. 

She always chose to see the best in people. Her family was her greatest joy.

Margaret is survived by her sons, Tommy Miller (Carol), Alan Miller (Robin) and daughter Peggy M. Koone (Mark). Grandchildren Ryan Miller (Hailey), Natalie M. Huffine (Scott), Jessica Miller, Alison Miller and Judson Koone. Great Grandchildren Colton Huffine, Amelia Huffine, Bennett Miller and Briggs Miller. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law Margaret Gourley and Edna Gourley, as well as several nieces and nephews that she loved dearly. The family would also like to express our appreciation to Maxine and Raymond Talbot for their love and support for our mother for the last several years.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Monday, February 21, 2022 at McMahan's Funeral Home.  The  Funeral service will be at Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, February 22, 2022 with Reverend Dr. Don Scofield and Reverend Mary Louise Sitton officiating. Interment will be at Rutherfordton City Cemetery,   Memorials may be made to Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church; P O Box 1133; Rutherfordton, NC 28139 or Norris Public Library; 132 North Main St.; Rutherfordton,  NC 28139.   McMahan's Funeral Home & Cremation Services in charge of arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Margaret (Gourley) Miller, please visit our floral store.


February 21, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
McMahan's Funeral Home
249 South Main Street
Rutherfordton, North Carolina 28139

Funeral Service
February 22, 2022

2:00 PM
Rutherfordton Presbyterian Church
252 North Washington Street
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

February 22, 2022

Rutherfordton City Cemetery
Cemetery Street
Rutherfordton, NC 28139

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