Thomas Leary Miller, Sr., whose newspaper career at the Washington Missourian spanned nearly 40 years, died Thursday, July 27, 2017, after a short hospital stay in St. Louis County. He became ill Monday, July 24, and entered Missouri Baptist Hospital that day. He was just a few days short of age 82.
Miller retired at The Missourian in 1996. At that time he was co-publisher with his brother, Bill, Sr., and served as director of advertising for about 35 years.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, at St. Francis Borgia Church. Visitation at the Miller Funeral Home will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Internment will be private.
Memorial donations are appreciated at Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery, 302 Lafayette St., Washington, or St. Patrick Center in St. Louis, 800 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63101, or Missouri Press Foundation, 802 Locust St., Columbia, Mo. 65201.
Thomas was born July 31, 1935, to James Lambert Miller, Sr., and Hilda (nee Leary) Miller in Spencer, Iowa. He was united in marriage to Marilyn Shotwell June 18, 1960, at St. Francis Borgia Church.
He is survived by his wife Marilyn; five children, Tom Miller, Jr., Washington; Lynnette Miller, St. Louis; Caroline Miller, Webster Groves, son-in-law Tom Schmitt, St. Louis; Scott Miller and wife Cindy, Webster Groves; and Suzanne Miller-Farrell and husband Paraig, St. Louis; two brothers, Bill, Sr., and wife Jackie, Washington, and John Miller, Sr., and wife Bonnie, Osage Beach; eight grandchildren, Will, Suzie, Thomas “Teddy,” Ian, Sam, Mary Grace, Mairead “Margot,” and Rory; one godson, Bill Miller, Jr.; other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, Jim Miller, Jr., and Marian Hatcher.
Tom served as president of the Missouri Press Association in 1992. He was president of the Missouri Advertising Managers’ Association in 1971; he received the University of Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 1992. Under his leadership The Missourian’s ad department won many awards, including 20 first place awards in Best Advertising from the Missouri Press Association.
He served on the board of advisers for the Columbia Missourian, was a member of the Missouri Press Association Foundation, the State Historical Society of Missouri, Downtown Washington, Inc., and was president of the Washington Historical Society.
Tom served two years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Korea in the mid-1950s. He attended the University of Missouri.
Tom and Marilyn leased a condo in Webster Groves in the past year to be closer to their children, but still maintained their home in Washington and spent time there.