Felicia Simona Miller peacefully passed away, surrounded by her family on September 17, 2021. Felicia died at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, after a brief illness, fighting courageously to the end.
Felicia was born in Lawrence, KS on August 16, 1952 to Leon “Chico” Garcia, Sr. and Erminia “Ermie” Garcia. She graduated from Lawrence High School in 1970. She worked for the KU Alumni Association, before working in the delicatessen business in Topeka, KS for a number of years. She then began a long career with Dillon’s Grocery Stores until she retired in 2016. She had served as a manager of various departments in Topeka, Lawrence & Overland Park. Felicia was known for being able to turn unhappy customers into happy ones. She was often the over-achiever employee that always went over and beyond the call of duty just to keep the business running as efficiently as possible. Felicia then joined Valleyview Bank (now Security Bank of KC) as a teller & was recently promoted to Universal Banker. Felicia loved working with people & many customers would insist on being waited on by her. She was known for her welcoming smile, always helpful & kind nature.
Felicia enjoyed many hobbies, but foremost was spending time with her family & friends. She enjoyed refinishing antiques, cheering on the KU Jayhawks & KC Chiefs. She & husband Michael attended many sporting events, meeting the players & collecting autographs. One of Felicia’s fondest memories is getting to ride on a Budweiser beer wagon pulled by a team of Clydesdales prior to a Chiefs game. Felicia enjoyed music & attending concerts, where at one concert she landed an autographed soccer ball kicked by singer Rod Stewart. Her greatest enjoyment was spending time with her family & longtime friends. She had recently celebrated her 69th birthday with the “girls”, family & close friends. Working with the Watkins Museum, Felicia organized an exhibit recognizing the Garcia family business legacy in Lawrence. Leon “Chico” Garcia, Sr. was a successful entrepreneur and operated numerous businesses. She had special childhood memories of helping her father with concessions at Allen Fieldhouse, including knowing Wilt Chamberlain who would give her piggy back rides and called her “Paleetcha.”
Felicia inherited her strong work ethic & high expectations for results from working in her father’s businesses as a youngster. This sense of responsibility & drive was not only evident in her jobs, but in her personal relationships. She was known as a caregiver, lovingly taking care of family members & friends in need. There was no boundary to her compassion, love & kind heart. She was known to personally bring flowers to people in her life, took special care of family graves, and delivered pans of her chicken enchiladas to brighten a day. For all the kindness she provided to others, Felicia had very simple needs. Happiness came from her family and friends, a glass of wine in the evening, a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream, Starbucks coffee & a bag of pecans.
Felicia married Eric Woolery in 1970, and they were blessed with daughter, Terra. Later, she married Bill Commons, and they welcomed daughter, Courtney. In 1995, Felicia married Michael Miller, in Topeka, KS.
Survivors include husband Michael, Overland Park, KS; daughters Terra Jones, Topeka & Courtney Commons, Lawrence; sisters Margaret Garcia (Sonny), Rene Garcia, Lorie Hernandez, all of Lawrence & Nancy Lawson, Topeka; grandsons Jon “Taylor” Haas (Kennedy), Matthew & Mason Morris; and granddaughter Melissa Morris; great grandchildren Hayden, Kailey, Lincoln & his soon to be sister in December; and many cousins, nieces & nephews.
Felicia was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather, Ralph Gauna, brother Leon Garcia, Jr., brothers-in-law, Michael Hernandez & Lewis Lawson, nephews Jeff & Brian Garcia, niece, Malena Wopsock, and father-in-law Rod Ernst.
Please come celebrate her life with us on Saturday, September 25th, 11am at Venue 1235 (1235 N. 3rd St, Lawrence, KS) wearing Felicia’s favorite team colors. She was a beer & pretzels kinda gal and would love seeing her friends & family casually sporting her favorite KU & Chiefs attire and/or colors.
Flower orders may be made with Owens Flower Shop, 785-843-6111, or in lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to The United Cerebral Palsy or The Willow Domestic Violence Center in Lawrence, in care of Warren – McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044, both of which she held close to her heart as they’re associated with very close friends.