Tommy Neal Miller, also known as Tom, died peacefully at Hospice of the Valley-Friendship Village, Phoenix, Arizona, on December 15, 2008 at the age of 73.
He was born on August 28, 1935 in Cabool, Missouri, to Marion and Lucille (Wade) Miller.
After high school graduation, he attended Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. Tom completed Fire Control Technician School at Great Lakes Naval Training Center and was assigned to the USS Cony based in Norfolk, Virginia. He served on the Cony for three years and advanced to the rank of Second Class Petty Officer before being honorably discharged in June of 1959.
That same summer, Tom relocated to the Chicago area and found employment with Motorola, Inc., in Franklin Park, Illinois. He stayed with Motorola and then Freescale throughout his career and had been employed with those companies longer than anyone else in the entire world when he retired in March of 2008.
On August 28, 1960, his 25th birthday, Tom and Rosanna Pittman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Everett Pittman of Houston, Missouri, were the first couple to be married in the new First United Methodist Church in Cabool. While living and working in the Chicago suburbs, Tom and Rosanna continued their education at Elmhurst College. Motorola offered Tom a transfer to Phoenix, Arizona, which he accepted in the fall of 1966. Since that time, the Millers have been Arizona residents.
Tom completed his education at Mesa Community College and attained the rank of Test Engineer Staff Principal as the years went by. He was a test engineer for a great many years and also taught classes in his chosen field at Motorola University. He was a valued mentor to younger engineers and technicians at Motorola and Freescale.
In addition to his many friends, those left to mourn his passing include Rosanna, his wife of 48 years; his only brother, Benny J. Miller and wife Belinda; Elinor “Jody” Hobart, his sister-in-law, and her two children, Scott C. Jobart and Nancy J. (Hobart) McGowan, who were as dear to him as his own children might have been. Other survivors include Scott’s wife, Paula, and Nancy’s three children, Gage, West and Rexy McGowan.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Tempe Mortuary. Although no services are being held at this time, Tom’s immediate survivors plan a family gathering and private memorial ceremony this coming spring near Morro Bay, California, where he spent his happiest days.
Donations honoring Tom’s memory may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85014 or to the Arizona Humane Society, 1521 W. Dobson Road, Phoenix, Arizona 85041.