Thomas Allen Miller
1930 ~ 2014
Thomas A. Miller died peacefully on July 7, 2014, in Boise, surrounded by his family.
Born in Pocatello, Idaho, on March 19, 1930, he was the third son of Allen Newell Miller and Mary Capser Miller. Along with his brothers, Newell and Don, he was introduced to hunting and fishing by his father at an early age and this was something that he passed on and enjoyed with his children and grandchildren throughout his entire life. Waterfowl, big game, fly fishing, or chasing the elusive quail - he just enjoyed being outdoors. And if he was with his sons or grandchildren, it was a perfect day.
Tom's love of learning began at the early age of 11 when he became interested in foreign affairs after WWII. He enjoyed studying history, politics, law, and many other topics and was truly a life-long learner. His excellent memory helped him recall detailed facts and figures that could range from a certain golf shot on a course he played thirty years ago to a citation for a legal issue from the same year.
Tom had a variety of occupations during his formative years including: selling magazines, having a paper route, working on his aunt's and uncle's farm for three summers in Vacaville, California, and working at McMahon's Drugstore downtown. Caddying at the Plantation and ground-maintenance work at Hillcrest Golf Course sealed Tom's love affair with golf. He played for the University of Idaho, in Bar Association and firm tournaments, and with friends for many years, and had scores below his age into March of this year. Semi-retirement allowed much more time for golf and for five hole-in-ones between 2001 and 2011. Fate even allowed him to meet his future wife, Jo Lecona, at Hillcrest Country Club in 1955.
Tom joined the Naval Reserve in 1948 and by 1950 was assigned to the Commander Naval Forces, Far East in Tokyo during the Korean War. He had fond memories of his service days and looked back on his active duty as one of the most satisfying times of his life.
Admitted to the American Bar Association in 1956, Tom was still practicing law at the time of his death. He served as Secretary of the Idaho State Bar (1959-1963) while working as a law clerk in the office of Anderson, Kaufman and Anderson. In 1964 he became an associate with Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley and a partner in 1968, specializing in real estate, water law, and financial transactions. When the firm celebrated its 50th anniversary earlier this year, Tom was pleased to be recognized as the oldest representative of its original members.
Tom helped to plan and secure: the enactment of lower court reorganization (served on the Court Reorganization Committee from 1963-1967), the Idaho Judicial Council (served from 1967-1973), the Idaho Court of Appeals, and an increase in judicial salaries. He considered these professional achievements among the finest of his career.
Tom was the recipient of the Idaho State Bar Award of Merit (1969), and the American Judicature Society Herbert Lincoln Harley Award (1973). He served on the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement of Idaho for 35 years (1963-1998) and helped the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Inc. and the Idaho Association of Museums in recent years with legal and legislative issues.
Tom's marriage to a Basque woman made him Basque by association. Together, Tom and Jo had three children. Tom treasured supporting their activities, ensuring them educational opportunities, and being a wonderful father and grandfather.
Tom was truly a gentle man and a man of great integrity, honesty, humor, wit and intelligence. He was a wonderful example for the law profession and for his family. He will remain in our memories and hearts forever.
Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jo Lecona Miller; children, Ted, Patty, and Tim, and daughter-in-law, Ann; and grandchildren, Andrew, Hanna (Brodie), Luke, Josh, and Emily. His sister-in-law, Fran Miller, a niece and nephew, and extended family were also dear to him. Angus, his cairn terrier, is still waiting for him to come through the door.
There will be a vigil service on Friday, July 11, at 7:00 p.m. (preceded by a viewing from 5:00 to7:00 p.m.) at Summers Funeral Home, 1205 W. Bannock St., Boise. The funeral will be held at St. John's Cathedral on Saturday, July 12, at 10:00 a.m. Donations in Tom's memory can be made to the Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Inc., 611 Grove Street, Boise, Idaho, 83702, or to a
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family on Tom's memorial webpage at www.summersfuneral.com.
Summers Funeral Home - Boise Chapel
1205 West Bannock Street Boise, ID 83702
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 11, 2014