Marion T. Miles died peacefully on October 25, 2020 in Bradenton, Florida, at the age of 94. Survivors include her husband of 72 years, Paul M. Miles, her daughter Judy Werner and husband Tom Werner, her son, Stephen Miles and wife Kathy Killion, two granddaughters, Allison Werner and Molly Russo, and two great-grandsons, Emmett Russo and Elijah Russo. All survivors live in the Sarasota-Bradenton area.
Outgoing and cheerful, Marion enjoyed meeting new people, and will always be remembered for her kindness and empathy. She was a caring person, one who made others feel comfortable and brought joy to everyone around her. Her death leaves a hole in the hearts of her family and friends.
Born to David and Nettie Tipton in Little Rock, Arkansas on May 1, 1926, Marion graduated from Little Rock Central High School, and attended Hendrix College and later Ouachita Baptist College, where she majored in music. Possessed of a beautiful alto voice, Marion pursued her love of music throughout her life, singing in numerous church choirs, most notably that of Central Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was for many years a performing member of the Knoxville Choral Society.
A deeply religious person, Marion started teaching Sunday School in 1942, when she was only 16, and continued to do so until moving to Bradenton in 2015. Her classes were so popular that members often refused to move up into their appropriate age group. In addition to teaching and singing in the choir, Marion was active in the Women’s Missionary Union, and led several ministries at Central Baptist Church, most notably programs for the elderly.
In her later years, she and Paul became generous philanthropists, particularly in the field of higher education, supporting the University of Tennessee, Carson-Newman University, Ouachita Baptist University, and New College of Florida. In recognition of their support for the University of Tennessee’s libraries, the Paul M. and Marion T. Miles Reading Room was dedicated in Knoxville in 1996.
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