Mrs. Irene Jane Hodge Miller, 82, went to her heavenly home on December 14, 2020.

She was the eldest of seven children born to the late Ira Love Hodge and Connie Warren Hodge in Cleveland, N.C., on June 14, 1938. She grew up a member of Cleveland Baptist Church and graduated from Cleveland High School and Mitchell College. Irene worked at Troutman Industries, where she met her husband of 49 years, William Edward “W.E.” Miller, who predeceased her in 2007. After their marriage, she became a member of Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in Troutman, N.C., where she served in numerous capacities most often in Children’s Ministries, and she was a faithful choir member.

W.E. and Irene made their home in the Mazeppa Community of Mooresville, where they raised their two children, Carla Miller Norman and Douglas Edward Miller (April Kiesling Miller). They were blessed with a picture-perfect childhood. Irene was a personal secretary to Mr. John Simpson and then to Mr. Hayden Cobb. She stayed home to raise her children and became actively involved as a 4H leader in the Mazeppa 4H Club, where she showed a broad range of experience from seamstress to brick mason. When her youngest reached school age, Irene returned to work for Iredell-Statesville Schools at Shepherd Elementary and Brawley Middle Schools in a variety of capacities, including teacher assistant, secretary and SIMS coordinator. She retired upon the birth of her first grandchild to take in her most beloved job of helping rear her two grandchildren, Parker Douglas Norman and Niels Spencer Norman. They were her sunshine. In 2015, Irene married Richard Cooley of Woodleaf, and they were blessed to enjoy five happy years of marriage.

Irene rarely met a stranger. She enjoyed making others feel important and was always looking for ways to help others. Irene had the ability to make things easier for others in her work behind the scenes which often, as she preferred, went without notice. She lived out her faith daily and diligently worked to bring others to Christ. Her most valued lesson to her family was to remember to always “show a little kindness.”

In addition to her children, grandchildren and husband, Irene is survived by her son-in-law, Hunter Norman; four sisters, Peggy Cashion (Houston), Ruth Mullis (Graham), Sue Overman (Dwight), and Connie Fero (Bob); one brother, Charles Hodge (Darvia) and many nieces and nephews. Her brother, Ira “Joe” Hodge (Teresa), preceded her in death.

Graveside funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at Wesley Chapel UMC with Rev. David Miner officiating. Irene will lie in state on Friday, December 18, 2020, from 12 to 7 p.m. at Troutman Funeral Home. A celebration of life service will be held in June of 2021.

Memorials may be made to Wesley Chapel UMC, P.O. Box 838, Troutman, NC 28166 and online condolences may be made to the family at

Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.

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