1962 - 2019
Kelli Leigh Gentry Miller, 57, of Lumberton, TX passed away on December 1, 2019 surrounded by her family. Born on September 10th, 1962 in Lake Charles, LA, to Billy Charles Gentry and Judy Ann Lalande Gentry, she was the oldest of 3 children. In her youth, she was passionate about 4-H Club and Hunter Jumper Equestrian Competitions. Kelli loved riding horses and spending time in the stables.
She married the love of her life, Willie, on November 12, 1983, in their family home where they have resided for 36 years. They met at Willie’s family reunion, which has been the source of many jokes over the years! A love story like theirs is rare. Before they had children, Kelli and Willie played on an adult co-ed soccer team, and they made lots of memories. In 1983, Kelli and Willie opened Miller Insurance Agency together and have loved working side by side for 36 years. Kelli loved her job, and truly enjoyed talking to each and every customer, learning about their life and sharing stories about hers. We often joke that Kelli never met a stranger and made it her mission to find out everyone’s “story”. Her kindness made an impact on everyone she met.
Though she had many hobbies and interests, her greatest joy were her two daughters, Hayley and Erin. She strived every day to be the best mom she could possibly be and succeeded beyond measure. As a family, vacations and quality time were top priority. They took many beautiful beach vacations and cruises, swam with dolphins, and went skiing in Colorado, but their favorite place to go as a family was Disney World. Kelli made sure to buy a special Christmas ornament from every destination they traveled to, and today the tree is full of beautiful memories. When not vacationing, she was busy watching the girls play sports, where she discovered a love for photography. She traveled all over the country watching Erin play college soccer and capturing pictures of the action. Kelli took great pride in sharing all the shots she took, especially to the parents who weren’t able to travel to the games. She also loved working in her flower beds, and she passed along her knowledge and love of flowers to Hayley.
Kelli and Willie are blessed to have a wonderful group of friends and family who they have made irreplaceable memories with throughout the years. They took lots of trips together, from Ohio to Tortola, and everywhere in between. Some of the best times, though, have been at the Miller house, where Kelli cherished being surrounded by the people she loved most.
Earlier this year Kelli became a Mimi when her beautiful twin grandchildren, Connor and Madeline, were born. Being a Mimi brought her so much joy. Even through her illness, she found ways to make special memories with the babies. She loved helping Hayley feed them, reading to them, or snuggling a baby tight for a nap. Kelli was truly one of a kind, and she will be missed dearly by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Left to honor her memory is her loving husband, Willie Miller; daughters, Hayley Hebert and husband, Lucas, and Erin Miller; sister, Morgan Campbell; brother, Craig Gentry and significant other, Rochelle Andonian; grandchildren, Madeline Hebert and Connor Hebert; nieces and nephews, Casey Dollinger, Zac Dollinger and wife, Charlsie, Chris Campbell, Torey Tarter and wife, Kathi, Bryan Tarter and wife, Crystal, Codi Burgess and husband, Callan, and Preston Guillot and wife, Tara; aunts, Brenda Blanchard and husband, Bruce, Lynn Robertson and husband, Tom, and Frances Herod and husband, Porter; uncle, Mike Lalande and wife, Sharon; sisters-in law, Leslie Tarter, and husband, Glen, Peggy Guillot, Rita Perry Cummings and husband, Patrick, and Linda Perry Dunn and husband, Richard; brothers-in-law, Joe Perry and wife, Beth, Ronnie Perry and wife, Linda, Joe White, and Ricky White; and a host of grandnieces, grandnephews, cousins, extended family and dear friends.
Preceding Kelli in death are her parents; mother-in-law, Patsy White; and cousin, Jenna Kuhnel.
Visitation with family and friends will be Saturday, December 7, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., at Crestwood Baptist Church, Lumberton, TX. Kelli’s life honoring service will follow at 10:00 a.m., also at the church, with Bro. Bob Webb and Pastor Jeff Lowe officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Cancer Society (Ref: Kelli Miller), 1640 N. Major Dr. Ste 101, Beaumont, TX 77713. Kelli battled Triple Negative Breast Cancer for 3 years and was incredibly thankful to have met Dr. Matthew Ellis at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Ellis helped her have quality of life for long enough to spend 7 months with her grandchildren. Her case will be used for research in the hopes of discovering a cure for this disease.
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