Michelle “Micki” Chapman died peacefully Dec. 20, 2020, at her home in Hood River, Ore., surrounded by family and friends.
Micki was born Nov. 12, 1951, in Macomb, Ill., to Myrlene Pointer Chapman and Bill Chapman. Her family moved to Lancaster, Calif., when she was about 4 years old. After graduating from high school, she moved to Santa Cruz, Calif. She took classes at a junior college, and attended UC Santa Cruz. From there, she turned her artistic talents into a career as a graphic designer.
In Santa Cruz, she met Randy Miller and they were married in 1984. In 1992, the couple moved to Hood River.
During her first years in Hood River, Micki worked as an advertising representative for the Hood River News, later becoming a graphic designer for the newspaper as well as running her own design business. Her kindness, friendly demeanor and talent endeared her to co-workers and clients, and many long-term friendships grew from her working relationships.
Over her many years as a graphic artist, Micki earned recognition and won dozens of awards for her illustrations and designs, including several Designer of the Year awards from the Oregon Newspaper Publisher’s Association as well as many stand-alone awards for individual design layouts.
In 2011, she joined a small team that launched The Gorge Magazine, a quarterly lifestyle publication based in Hood River. She was instrumental in getting the publication off the ground and served as advertising director for the magazine — while continuing to do design work on the side — until her retirement in 2017.
Her artistic talents and keen eye for design extended to her favorite medium: the garden. She loved the planning and designing of landscapes as much as the planting and tending, and savored hours spent working in and enjoying her expansive garden.
Micki is survived by her husband Randy Miller of Hood River; daughter Beth Jarman; son Cedar Miller and his wife Jenny; grandchildren Makayla Miller and Austin Miller; siblings Pat Chapman, Jody Tate, Tim Chapman and Lynn Chapman; and her beloved dog Lucy. She will be missed by many, including dear friends Karen Sceva, Melissa Braito, Rhonda Harris, Becky Fry and Bonny Segura.
A small memorial service will be held at a later date in Micki’s garden at her home in Hood River.
“My wife and the love of my life is gone, but her memory will continue to live on in me and the countless others whose lives she touched,” Randy said. “She was kindhearted, sweet, cheerful and strong and always had a kind word and a generous smile to offer. She lived a good life and passed calmly with her daughter and son and good friend Karen by her side. She died with her characteristic smile on her sweet face, as if telling us not to worry, that she was happy we were together.”