Obit: Hal Miller

Obit: Hal Miller

November 24th, 2011 in Obituaries
Location: Tennessee

KINGSPORT Hal M. Miller, 81, passed away Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, following a short illness.A native of Kingsport, Hal Miller grew up in the Bloomingdale area and attended Dobyns-Bennett High School. At Dobyns-Bennett, Hal earned the honors of All-State, All-Southern and All-American in football. Also, he was on the D-B football team when no one managed to score against them the entire 1947 regular season. During his senior year, Hal set the state record in shot put.After graduating from Dobyns-Bennett in 1948 he attended Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, on an athletic scholarship, joining four other D-B teammates from his graduating class: Cecil Maddux, Ira Rathbun, Tommy Trent, and Harry Wright. While at Georgia Tech, Hals reputation as an excellent sportsman on the field continued. He lettered for three seasons, was All-Southeast Conference Selection for two years, and was a consensus All-American as offensive tackle during his senior year. He co-captained Georgia Tech's 1952 National Championship Team. This team went on to defeat the University of Mississippi in the Sugar Bowl. In August of 1953, Hal was voted to play in the College All-Star Game held in Chicago. The city of Kingsport honored its native son by declaring a "Hal Miller Day" in January of that year. He was awarded a 1953 Ford and given a parade through downtown.Upon graduating from Georgia Tech, Hal was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He played one season before entering military service. He joined the army and was stationed at Fort Benning. Despite being asked to return to play for the 49ers after his military service ended, Hal decided to return to his hometown of Kingsport, and begin a career with Tennessee Eastman Co. In 1992, Hal was inducted into the Georgia Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. The following year, he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. In 2001, Hal was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the NEC Sports Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, he was honored to be inducted into the Dobyns-Bennett Alumni Hall of Fame. During his years on the football field, at 6' 5" and 230 lbs., Hal Miller was renowned for his strength, speed, heft and sportsmanlike character on and off the field. In 1992, the University of Arkansas athletic director, Frank Boyles wrote: "Based on my 44 years as a collegiate coach and administrator, I would rate Hal Miller equal to if not the best of any offensive tackle I have had the pleasure of coaching or watching play."Hal Miller had a long and successful career at Tennessee Eastman Co. He worked at Holston Defense as a materials handling supervisor and then in the CE and Tenite Divisions as a personnel representative. Outside of work and continuing after his retirement in 1993, Hal was an active member of the Kingsport community. In addition to working with the Boy Scouts and Boys' Club, he also officiated at high school football games. For many years, Hal devoted his time and energy delivering Meals on Wheels, an activity that gave him much satisfaction. He was also an active member of the First Baptist Church of Kingsport. He was a loving father and a devoted and loving husband.He will be remembered as a man who exemplified strength of character, a humble demeanor, and Christian compassion. At the D-B Alumni Hall of Fame awards dinner, presenter Mike ONeill described Hal Miller as "an All-American man who has made many contributions to many people."Hal was preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Manie Miller; and his brothers, Lynn and Don Miller.He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Phyllis Hitchcox Miller; his children, Hal M. Miller Jr., Robert A. Miller (Sheri Miller) and Suzanne Hale (Robert Hale); his stepchildren, Mary Ann McLeod (Bruce McLeod) and John Alan Miller (Gayle Miller); his grandchildren, Jennifer Hale, Elizabeth Hale, Natalie Hale, Abby Miller and Claire Miller; his stepgrandchildren, Cynthia Miller, Sarah Miller, William Cecil McLeod and John Hal Edward McLeod; his sister-in-law, Beverly Miller; and his nephews, Garrett Miller and Jeff Miller; several aunts, an uncle, and cousins.Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church of Kingsport on Saturday, Nov. 26. Viewing will begin at 10 a.m.The funeral service will begin at 11 a.m. with Dr. Marvin Cameron officiating, followed by visitation with the family.Interment will be at a later date.Those wishing to give contributions in lieu of flowers may offer a donation to the First Baptist Church of Kingsport, 200 W. Church Circle, Kingsport, TN 37660.Please visit www.hamlettdobson.com to leave an on-line condolence for the family.Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport is serving the family of Hal M. Miller.


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