Obituaries & Tributes
Carroll Thomas "Tom" Miller
date of birth November 1 1922
date of death January 5 2018
Carroll Thomas “Tom” Miller, 95, passed away peacefully Friday, January 5, 2018, at St. Vincent's Hospital, Portland, Oregon, after a brief cardiac illness.
Born on November 1, 1922, in Hammond, Indiana, the youngest son of Clemens Albert and Elizabeth Demerling Miller, Tom and his older brother, Warren, were raised in Alhambra, California, from early youth to young adulthood. He attended All Souls Catholic Church and school and graduated from Alhambra High in 1940.
Tom began attending Pasadena City College until World War II interrupted daily routines. He was eager to join the war effort and followed his brother into the Armed Services. In 1943 he enlisted in the US Navy and was chosen for a flight training program. Upon graduating the program and attending advanced training, Tom flew the Curtiss SC 1 Seahawk off the USS Boston in the Pacific. In Alhambra and in the Navy, Tom cultivated many life-long friendships.
After the war ended and leaving the Navy, Tom returned to California to finish his education. Back at Pasadena City College, he met and married, nursing student and love of his life, Nona Mae Anderson. The beloved couple were married for 62 years until her death in 2009. Tom attended University of Southern California studying Mechanical Engineering. At USC, he again expanded his circle of life-long friends. An unwavering fanatic of everything related to USC, especially USC football, he watched the last game of the 2017 season.
Graduating from USC in 1951, Tom was hired by Douglas Aircraft to work designing guided missiles. “C.T.”, as he was referred to by his cohorts at work, was active in the Management Club and found his work exciting and challenging. He loyally worked for Douglas (later McDonald-Douglas) until his retirement in 1984.
Douglas transferred the Millers, now a family of six, to Charlotte, NC, from 1956 through 1966. By now more friends were amassed from Douglas, St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church, Pine Lakes Country Club and the neighborhood of Sharonwood Acres. Additionally, the family grew to the final total of eight. Tom had boundless energy raising six children with Nona, finishing home projects, taking up golf (which he played until his late 80's) and traveling the US with all his children. Camping, hunting and fishing were all family affairs.
Relocating back to the San Fernando Valley and later Orange County, California, the Millers continued an active social life with their wide circle of friends. The parents shepherded children through driving, schooling, sports, universities and still fit in a lot of USC football. Tom also began participating in various Naval groups such as the ANA, and was a docent at El Toro Marine Aviation Museum. A proud grandfather, he attended dance recitals, sports events, graduations and babysat- just as he had as a father.
Upon retirement, the Millers settled in Vista, California in 1989. Tom was active at St. Thomas More Church and Shadowridge Country Club. After Nona's devastating stroke in 2001, Tom devoted himself to the caretaking of his wife. Her therapy and care were his main focus until her death in 2009. Tom joined the Knights of Columbus at age 90, continued making home repairs and participating in various Naval organizations. A particular joy was attendance every Wednesday morning at the Oceanside breakfast gathering of The Old Bold Pilots, once again adding to his large circle of friends.
In the spring of 2015 he flew to Washington, DC, with the San Diego Honor Flight where he and other Veterans visited US memorials and accepted various honors and accolades. In the fall of 2016, Tom moved to Portland, Oregon, to enjoy his twilight years with family and his youngest grandchildren. Social to the very end, he celebrated his 95th birthday with his new friends at The Ackerly in Portland.
Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Nona Mae (Anderson) Miller and brother Warren C. Miller. He is survived by his children, Stephen Miller (Barbara), Susan Miller Pope (James), Timothy Miller (Lori), Jeffrey Miller (Lori), Victoria Miller and Christopher Miller (Kristina); his grandchildren, Courtney and Geoffrey Pope, Jason and Garrett Miller, Allison Crabbe Sheehy, Matthew, Christopher, Ryan and Scott Miller, Nicole and Samantha Miller; great granddaughters Lola Mae Miller, Emma Rose Miller, and Brianna Carino-Moore; sister-in-law Verna Dekens Miller; nephews Matthew and Thomas Miller. and nieces Cynthia Miller Buechele, Anna Miller Cieslinski and Markay Norton Reynolds, and his many friends near and far.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tom's memory to the Honor Flight San Diego, 9423 Keck Court, San Diego, CA 92129. www.honorflightsandiego.org
Funeral arrangements are as follows: Service and Mass at St. Thomas More, 1450 South Melrose Dr., Oceanside, California, March 22, 2018, 11 AM. Reception following.
Interment at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Cabrillo Memorial Dr., San Diego, California, March 23, 2018, 11:30 AM. Reception following.
13 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Kathleen Harrigan-Hamamoto "The Toms", Mr Miller and my Dad, Tom Harrigan, were friends from the age of six when they met in first grade at All Souls in Alhambra. That friendship lasted, despite distance and busy lives, and they celebrated their 90th birthdays with each other, just a month apart. My parents cherished their friendship with mr and Mars Miller.
Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Dr Don V Black I have known Tom all my adult life. He was my best friend's Dad. He was a wonderful father to his children, and a stand-up guy to their friends. He was a role model for all of us. Tom, I will miss you. You will always be Mr. Miller, to me.
Candle lit by Klaus Thiele, Old Bold Pilots He was such a gentle Man, we all sure miss him at our weekly breakfast in Oceanside.
Candle lit by Susan Pope Our wonderful father will never be forgotten...
Candle lit by Susan Miller We will miss a wonderful father. He will never be forgotten.
Candle lit by Laura Brooks Thinking of you and your family.
Candle lit by Dale Muegenburg Susan—You know your dad held a special place in my heart. He was a great guy and a dad to be proud of. Praying that he may rest in peace and for comfort for you and your family. Hugs, Dale
Candle lit by Barbara Miller My father-in-law was such a kind and caring man. He loved his family and his country with all his heart. We will miss him so much.
Candle lit by Peggy and Alan With out heart felt condolences. You are all in our prayers.
Candle lit by Penny Bucky Offered prayers in church today For you and your family – thinking of you
Candle lit by Helen Melman One of the "greatest generation." He left an enduring legacy in the love and respect of his children. God bless.
Candle lit by John Murphy I knew Tom through the Knights of Columbus at St Thomas More Catholic Church. He always had a positive attitude and was quick to laugh. Thanks for the written tribute and the pictures. It was good to get a glimpse of his "Wonderful Life"