Peggyanne "Peggy" Riker Miller
PEGGYANNE MILLER, BREEDER, HANDLER, JUDGE OF SHETLAND SHEEPDOGS. Peggyanne Riker Miller 73 of Midland lost her valiant battle with cancer on Monday, July 11, 2005 at her home. Shetland Sheepdogs were a thirty-year passion of Peggyanne Riker Miller. It started with a pet sheltie called Happy she bought as a surprise for her son when their family collie died. And thus began a process of studying, training, and developing skill for breeding, handling, and judging that led her into a new world she never tired of. Working closely with her husband they bred, raised, trained, and showed more than 20 shelties for Barlo Shelties, half of who earned their championship. Patient, thorough, with an expert eye and intuitive sense of the sheltie, Peggyanne became well known on the Show Circuit. Longtime member of Midland Michigan Kennel Club as well as the Greater Detroit Shetland Sheepdog Club, she was a Founding Member of the Western Michigan Shetland Sheepdog Club, and a 25 year member of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. She was very active in all these clubs in which she was associated, organizing meetings, seminars, health clinics and the like—and many show events around the state. She extended her interest and enthusiasm throughout the sheltie show world, including International Shows as well as at Crufts. Peggyanne Miller was born in 1931, the second child of Harland Alexander and Corinne Maria Riker, and brought up in Newton, Massachusetts with her older brother, Harland Jr. She attended Newton High School where she sang and danced in High School productions and graduated in 1949. She also attended Lasell College: upon graduation she joined the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge Massachusetts as Secretary for the Analytical Chemistry Department. It was then that she met her future husband, Robert Llewellyn Miller of Chicago, Illinois, a senior at MIT. They were married in 1953 and began their life in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, moving around the country from there to North Carolina to St. Louis with a sabbatical year in Manchester, England, and eventually to Midland where they have lived for over 33 years. In addition to her almost full time devotion to her Shetland Sheepdogs, Peggyanne had been an active member of the Midland Arts Council, President of the Midland Symphony League, and active in many fund raising events. She is an enthusiastic traveler, has a great love of music and opera, and has a “joie de vivre” with a sparkle that ignites all those around her and these special qualities have been caught up by her son, Robert L. Miller Jr. and her two grandsons, Matthew and Andrew.