The Rev. Dr. E. Thomas Miller, 80, died Sunday, June 7, 2015, at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. Tom was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., to John Lucas Miller, III, and Lottie Hunziker Miller.
He attained the rank of Eagle Scout and graduated in 1952 from Hapeville High School in Hapeville, Georgia, and in 1956 from Davidson College.
Tom is survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Yvonne Raftelis Miller, hischildren, Michele Miller Houck and husband Charles Weston Houck, Jr., and John Thomas Anthony Miller and wife Elizabeth Holderried Miller and his grandchildren, Sarah, Meg, Abby and Jack who delighted and awed him.
He is also survived by his sister Martha Elizabeth Miller Thompson, in-laws Elva Wallace Miller, Barbara Raftelis Van Hook, and George and Eva Raftelis and a close circle of nieces and nephews who enriched his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, John Lucas Miller, IV, Herbert Alexander Miller and Faith Dudley Miller Ward.
Tom was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (US) in 1960 and served in the PCUS and PCUSA for over 50 years. His lifelong passion was higher education ministry. After graduation from Union Theological Seminary, he served as a Presbyterian campus minister at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, West Virginia University and Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
He continued to work in this ministry during his service at Montreat Conference Center, on the Davidson College Alumni Board and as a member of the North Carolina Presbyterian Higher Education Ministries.
He received a Master’s degree in Social Ethics from Boston University in 1972 and a Doctor of Ministry from Union Theological Seminary in 1978.
He also made deep connections while serving local congregations in Charlotte, Lenior, Greensboro, Statesville, Florence and Georgetown, S.C., Mooresville, Concord, and North Wilkesboro.
Tom was an unlikely activist. Born in the Deep South in the 1930s, his deep faith in the resurrection and his liberal education, led him to work tirelessly for civil rights, the poor, women’s rights, access to health care and LGBT rights.
A service celebrating Tom’s life will be held on Saturday, June 13 at 3 pm at the Davidson College Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Main Street, Davidson, NC 28036, with a reception following at the Congregation House.
In lieu of flowers,memorials may be made in his honor to support Campus Ministry at Davidson College Presbyterian Church, PO Box 337, Davidson, NC 28036.