Veteran ‘Rockford (Ill.) Register Star’ Columnist Dies at 72

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Lucy Miele, a performer and veteran columnist who penned slice-of-life stories for the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star and other newspapers for more than 30 years, has died. She was 72.

Miele, of Stockton, died Sunday at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where she was being treated for a bacterial infection, according to her husband, Terry Auen.

“She just loved people and wanted to help them in any way she could,” Auen said. “She wrote about life, real life. She always told the truth in her column.”

Her weekly column first appeared in the Rockford newspaper in 1970 and she continued to write until she fell ill about a month ago, Auen said. Her self-syndicated columns also appeared in The Dispatch in Moline and The Rock Island Argus.

“I’m an anecdotalist,” she said in a 1997 profile in the Register Star. “There’s a beginning, a middle and an ending. My column is about life as I muddle through it.”

Miele, who held a journalism degree from Northwestern University, also wrote four cookbooks and two books about grief, including “First Person Singular: A Handbook for Survivors,” which she wrote after her first husband, Louis Miele, died in 1978.

She performed in one-woman historical presentations at the DeSoto House Hotel in Galena, where she often wore Victorian costumes. Her performances included a depiction of Julia Dent Grant, the wife of Ulysses S. Grant.

She is survived by two daughters, a brother and three grandchildren.

Funeral services are planned for Friday at the Calvary United Methodist Church in Stockton.

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