George Thomas Miller

George Thomas Miller

GUILDERLAND — George Thomas “Tom” Miller had a big heart and served as a mentor to many young people, said his wife, Deborah Pardee. He died on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, while skiing at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort in Flagstaff. He was 73. 

Mr. Miller was born in Albany on March 12, 1946 and graduated in 1964 from Guilderland High School. He went on to attend the State University of New York at Cortland and to earn a master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.

He distinguished himself as an athlete during his high school and college years in baseball, football, and track. 

He then had a long career as a college football coach, working at the Citadel, Dartmouth, Davidson, and the University of Bridgeport before going to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, where he was on the staff for 23 years. While at the Air Force Academy, he coached the defensive line and outside linebackers and coordinated special teams. 

After his death, the Air Force Academy issued a press release, acknowledging Mr. Miller’s work, saying he was a mentor, friend, and role model to the student-athletes he coached. 

Mr. Miller later went to Colorado State University-Pueblo as assistant head coach and helped launch that school’s football program. 

In 2013, he married Deborah Pardee, a psychologist, in Colorado, and the couple moved to Arizona in 2015. Mr. Miller was the athletic director and head football coach at Sedona Red Rock High School. Later, he was a substitute teacher at Mingus Union High School and recently was hired as a ski instructor at Snowbowl. 

“He lived in Arizona for four years, and he touched a lot of people here,” his wife said. 

Mr. Miller loved his mother, children, and grandchildren, his wife said. He was an avid hiker, bicyclist, golfer, fly fisherman, and skier. With his wife, he spent a lot of time hiking in the Grand Canyon. 

Her husband loved, she said, live music; Sunday mornings at the Red Rooster Café; traveling; and his dog, Sigmund. He had a keen interest in politics and was dismayed at the direction the country is heading in, she said. 

“He was the love of my life,” his wife concluded. “I miss him so much but am thankful that he died while doing something he loved.” 

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George Thomas Miller is survived by his wife, Deborah Pardee; his daughter, Emily Miller, and her wife, Renée; his son, Bo Miller, and his wife, Jordyn; and by his stepson, Air Force Captain Alex Lineberry, and his wife, Zoey.

He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Bella, Damian, Oaklynn, Reef, Aurora, and Eleanor; his sister, Sue Colthurst, and her husband, Eric; his brother, Steve Miller; his nieces and nephews; and many cousins.

His son, Michael, died before him, as did his parents, Antoinette “Etta” and George Miller. 

A memorial was held on Jan. 18 at Oak Creek Country Club in the village of Oak Creek.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Grand Canyon Conservatory (www.grandcanyon.org).

— Elizabeth Floyd Mair 

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