OBITUARY: Billy Miller


William Crawford “Billy” Miller, Sr., age 88, of Murfreesboro, TN passed away peacefully on June 13, 2020 at his home with his family at his side. A native of Murfreesboro, Mr. Miller was the son of the late Edward Elam “Pluck” Miller and Leila Mae Johnson Miller. He was also preceded in death by his first wife of 26 years, Betty Ray Clark Miller, and his brother, Ira Bradford Miller, Sr.

He is survived by his loving wife of 37 years, Peggy Wenger Miller; daughters, Laura Miller Follis and her husband Mark of Murfreesboro and Mary Lynn Miller of Annapolis, MD; sons, William Crawford “Bill” Miller, Jr. of Murfreesboro and David Clark Miller and his wife Kathy of Orlando, FL; granddaughters, Rachel Follis Dominy and her husband Nathaniel, Caroline Miller Follis, and Hayley Frances Miller; brother, Edward Elam “Ebby” Miller, Jr. and his wife Betty; and sister, Frances Miller Faulkinberry.

Billy was born on September 15, 1931 in Murfreesboro and raised on his family’s farm where the current South Church Street U.S. Post Office now stands. He was a 1949 graduate of Central High School where he played starting guard on the football team. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State College in 1953 with a degree in Industrial Arts and Mathematics and also earned his Teaching Certificate. From 1954 to 1956, he served in the U.S. Army in Japan during the Korean War in the Troop Information and Education section where he was in charge of teaching GED classes in the American prison in Nakano, Japan. In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart, Betty Ray Clark and began studies in Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. After graduating with his Engineering degree in 1958, he began work as a superintendent for his brother, Brad, in his utility contracting business. In 1964, he started his own company in utility contracting, Miller Construction Company, where he worked until he retired in the mid-1980’s. Together, he and Betty Ray raised their four children in a loving home until her death in 1982. He married Peggy Wenger Young in 1983, spending the rest of his life as her loving and devoted husband.

Billy was a man of great faith and lived his life as a servant of the Lord. He was a member and Ruling Elder of First Presbyterian Church, Murfreesboro. He loved his family with all his heart and loved nothing better than spending time with them. He delighted in the many family gatherings with Peggy and their six children, spouses, and seven grandchildren on holidays, birthdays, and whenever any out-of-town family came to visit. He enjoyed so much all the extended Miller family get-togethers with his siblings and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families, especially the annual Christmas Miller Family Brunch.

He was a life-long fisherman spending many weekends in his younger days on Center Hill Lake fishing with his brother, Brad; father-in-law, Charlie Clark, Jr.; brother-in-law, Charlie Clark, III; and later, his sons, Bill and David. He and Peggy spent many happy years at their beach home in Vero Beach, FL where he passed time fishing in the Intracoastal Waterway behind his home. He was an avid football fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers. He rarely missed a UT game watching many games from his seats in Neyland Stadium in his younger years. In later years, when he watched every game from home, he enjoyed the post-game “analysis” of the plays and calls with his two sons.

Billy also enjoyed spending time with friends. He and Peggy spent several fun years traveling overseas together with groups of Murfreesboro friends. He especially looked forward to his monthly men’s bridge group with many friends from First Presbyterian; then later, a weekly bridge group with Dick Kidwell, Jack SantAmour, and Lee Owen. In recent years, he took pleasure in mornings of coffee and conversation at Hooper’s Supply Store with a men’s group including his brother, Ebby, Myers Parsons, Robert “Huddy” Huddleston, Jere Warner, Bubba Woodfin, and many others.

Billy lived his life to the fullest, always with integrity, never dwelling on regret.

A family funeral service will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, June 20, with the Rev. Dr. John Hinkle presiding. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 210 N. Spring St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130, Alive Hospice, 1718 Patterson Street, Nashville, TN 37203, or the charity of your choice.