‘A McHenry County original’: Former county Treasurer Glenda Miller dies at 68

Former McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller died Wednesday. She was 68.

Miller served as McHenry County treasurer from 2014 to 2022. Before that, she was chief deputy treasurer for 18 years before winning countywide election to the top job in the office.

Miller grew up in Harvard and was in the Harvard High School Class of 1973, her daughter Tiffany Miller said.

“She had fun times out there,” Tiffany said.

Before her death, Glenda continued to live in Harvard only a few blocks away from her daughter and her daughter’s family, including three grandchildren, Aubree, Nova and Ezequiel, who turned 4 months old Friday.

“She was really excited about that,” Tiffany said of her mother’s first grandson.

Glenda had two older sisters, Connie and Bonnie, and one younger sister, Brenda.

Tiffany is an only child.

Tiffany said she shares a lot of traits of her mother, such as her mother’s laugh.

“I get to continue that little trait,” Tiffany said.

Glenda enjoyed traveling, including trips to Germany, Panama and a Caribbean cruise in 2022, where they celebrated her upcoming retirement.

Tiffany said her mother taught her to “respect people of all types” and she “treated everyone with the same respect.”

Her successor, current McHenry County Treasurer Donna Kurtz, said of Glenda, “She was like a McHenry County original.”

Serving as county treasurer wasn’t Glenda’s first foray into elected office. She previously served on the Harvard City Council and Chemung Township Board before announcing her run for treasurer, according to previous Northwest Herald reporting.

Glenda also was active in the community, and Tiffany recalled going to chamber of commerce breakfasts as a kid.

Glenda told the Northwest Herald in 2021 that she was happiest when helping seniors with their property taxes, which she continued to do in retirement. One of the big issues during her time as treasurer was a decision by the county to rebate $15 million to taxpayers from the reserve funds of Valley Hi Nursing Home in Woodstock.

“She had a lot to do with the tax breaks for them,” Tiffany said.

Glenda retired from the treasurer’s office in 2022 and endorsed Kurtz to take over. Kurtz said Friday that she wouldn’t have run for the office without Glenda’s endorsement.

Kurtz also noted Glenda had a very good staff, whom she “cared deeply about.”

“She built a really strong team,” Kurtz said.

Years ago, Glenda instituted a hard rule about no calls before 10 a.m. on days off. One of her catchphrases was “Okie dokie, smokie.”

“She loved watching ‘The Price is Right,’” Tiffany said.

Glenda also enjoyed “Wheel of Fortune,” puzzles and plants, but unfortunately didn’t have a green thumb.

“She killed every plant she ever had,” Tiffany said.

Kurtz said Glenda “really made her mark wherever she went.”

A wake for Glenda is planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday at Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home in Harvard, with a funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Harvard.