In memory of
LaNora Etoile Graham Miller
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In memory of
LaNora Etoile Graham Miller
LaNora Etoile “Tillie” Graham Miller, 87, of Nacogdoches, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2016. Tillie was born August 7, 1929, in Lubbock, Texas to parents Robbie and Wanda Graham. Visitation will be Sunday evening, October 16, 2016, from 5-7 PM at Laird Funeral Home. Funeral Services to be held on Monday, October 17, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. at Laird Funeral Home with Bill Sherrill officiating. Interment to follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, Nacogdoches, Texas. Tillie was a graduate of Portales High School and of Eastern New Mexico University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree as well as her teaching certificate. It was also at Eastern New Mexico that she met the star of the basketball team and her future husband, Harry Miller, which culminated in a 61-year marriage that produced three sons. Her first teaching assignment was in House, New Mexico where she and Harry moved soon after they were married. Harry was the high school basketball coach, and Tillie was a first grade teacher. Tillie served on the PTA and as Homeroom Mom for all three boys. She always attended their sporting events, never missing a game of her boys or of her husband, who served as a College Basketball Head Coach for 37 years. As a devoted wife of a College Basketball Head Coach, Tillie was a second mom to many of the young men who played for her husband, and with all of them she celebrated many team highs and lows. Tillie was a generous and caring person to all who knew her. She will be remembered by the smile she shared with everyone she encountered. Mother made sure her boys had time to chase lizards but not in the house and time to build roads in the dirt as long as they were home for supper at 6:00 sharp where the family meal was cooked and where all sat and ate together at the table. On Sundays, there was always a roast and potatoes on the stove before leaving for church. Church was Sunday morning as well as Sunday and Wednesday nights, and the family never missed. Basketball players always found a home-cooked meal prepared and served with a touch of love that served as a replacement for players whose mom was in another city or state. One of Harry’s former basketball players recently commented, “I cannot remember a time when I came to your house that Tillie didn’t greet me with a hug.” Tillie was a longtime member of North Street Church of Christ, the Chamber of Commerce, and The University Women. As an owner of Holleman, Miller and Price Realty, Tillie was an outstanding Realtor where she served as the first woman President and earned the prestigious “Realtor of the Year” award. She helped many first-time residents of Nacogdoches find their homes. With a zest for knowledge, she also learned Greek and Braille. Tillie never lost her love of the wide open spaces, landscapes, and beautiful sunsets of New Mexico. As a loving and devoted mother, she will be greatly missed by all her family and friends. She is survived by her three sons and their wives: Bob and Ardan Miller of Nacogdoches, Tom and Patty Miller of Nacogdoches, Gary and Dorota Miller of Tyler; five grandchildren: Claire and Tatom Bivins of Nacogdoches, Isabella and Sophie Miller of Tyler, Will and Anna Ashby of Nacogdoches and Ember and Leandro Minarelli of Round Rock; and four great-grandchildren: Bryana Ashby, Nolan Ashby, Emerson Carden, and Emilia Minarelli. Tillie is preceded in death by her husband, Harry Miller; her parents, Robbie and Wanda Graham; a brother, Ray Donald Graham; and a sister, Vada Dewitt. Pallbearers will be Gregory Roe, Hiram Harrison, Randy Manning, Will Ashby, Leandro Minarelli, and Mike Miller. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Neemahouse.org , Alzheimer’s Association, or to Christian Homes and Family Services in Tyler, Texas. The family extends a special thank you to the sitters who so kindly cared for Tillie and Harry through the sunset years of their lives.
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