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Thomas Max Miller

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In loving memory of our brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend Thomas Max Miller, who died November 13, 2021, at the age of 94 in Mesa, Arizona.

Max was born on the family farm East of Oberlin Kansas, to Willis G. Miller and Josie E. (McKay) Miller, on August 5, 1927. He graduated from Oberlin High School and joined the Navy at age 17 to fight in WWII. He was assigned to the USS J. Franklin Bell and served as a Yeoman to the ship’s Commander until his honorable release in 1946.

Max married his high school sweetheart, Peggy L. Tennant of Broken Bow, NE in Oberlin on September 7, 1947.

Max’s interest in medicine led him to enroll at the University of Mortuary Science in Kansas City, MO where he earned his degree with honors in 1950. After working at a mortuary in Ft. Scott, KS, he returned to Oberlin where he and a friend purchased the local mortuary and renamed it the Miller-Corcoran Funeral Home. The partnership also owned the ambulance service and Max spent many hours driving patients to Denver, the closest large hospital. Max always joked that driving the ambulance at high speeds across the plains fueled his love of the open road.

While in Ft. Scott, Max had made friends with several people that worked at the Western Insurance Company. In 1959 they recruited him to come to work for the company as a Field Representative. After training in Ft Scott, Max and Peggy moved to Englewood, CO to raise their family. Max’s region included Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

After his retirement in 1991 Max moved to Arizona and married Marlene White in a service at Apache Land in Apache Junction, AZ on September 13, 1998.

Max and Marlene were known in Gold Canyon and Apache Junction for their parties in support of local charities. They loved volunteering, fundraising, and contributing to the Boys and Girls Club branch of Superstition Mountain. Max was ordained and he and Marlene performed weddings, memorials and celebrations of life across the Phoenix metro area. They enjoyed dressing as Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Brookdale Apache Junction every Christmas and other social gatherings in the area. A member of the BPO Elks and The Veterans of Foreign Wars, his favorite place was the American Legion Club in Apache Junction where he met with fellow vets and friends from across the US and Canada.

Max is survived by his bother Harold (Carol) Miller of Wenatchee WA, son Michael (Heather) Miller, daughter Patricia Wills, as well as four grandchildren, Callan Miller, Eliza Samuelson, Joshua (Tran) Wills and Jeannette Wills (Carl Beard), and six great-grandchildren, Noah, Quynh, Ellie, and Hesh Wills, Beau Work and Peyton Beard. He is also survived by his late wife Marlene’s children, Randal White, Jennifer Erickson, and Sheryl White. Marlene, his loving wife preceded him in death on September 8, 2018. He was also preceded in death by brother Glen Miller, and sisters Lois Billings, Mildred Holmdahl, and Edith Bremer.

A 'Celebration of Life' service and Military salute will be held in early 2022 at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. Details to follow. If you would like information on the plans please write Michael Miller at 1499 Blake St, Apt 7G, Denver, CO 80202, or email

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Club Apache Junction Post 27 and The Boys and Girls Club of Superstition Mountain.