Funeral services for John D. Miller, Sr., age 90 will be Friday, November 18, 2022 at Hilldale United Methodist Church at 2:00 pm. B.J. Brack will officiate. Interment will be in Greenwood cemetery. His family will receive friends from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Neal Tarpley Parchman Funeral Home on Thursday, November 17, 2022 and at 1:00 pm on Friday at the church.
Mr. Miller passed away on November 14, 2022. He was born July 12, 1932, in Springfield, Tennessee to the late Charles R. Miller, Sr. and Martha Ruth Dillard Miller. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his three brothers, Hugh Joe Miller, Charles R. Miller, Jr., Robert D. Miller, and nephews Michael Miller and Tom Miller. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Sara Evans Miller, daughter, Marsha Miller Voorhees (Joel), son, John D. Miller, Jr. (Shannan), Drew Miller (Skylar), Kacie Cavin, Matt Zenker (Maddie), Mark Zenker, Michael Zenker, and step grandson Nathaniel Voorhees. Great granddaughters, Marcella Cavin and Josaleigh Miller. He is also survived by several beloved nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons, Drew Miller, Matt Zenker, Mark Zenker, and Michael Zenker. And his nephews, Bob Miller, Donnie Miller, Phil Miller, Kelly Miller. Honorary pallbearers will be Dan Burden, Ed Bunio, and members of CHS football teams from 1965-1971.
He was born and raised in Robertson County, Tennessee and graduated from Coopertown High School in 1950. He received his Bachelor and Masters’ degrees from Austin Peay State College. After serving two years in the U.S. Army in Germany he started his career in education that covered 44 years. He worked at every level of education from Pre-K through college, and in both public and privateschools. He served as a Teacher, Coach, School Administrator, State Athletic Administrator, University Administrator, and a School District Administrator. He began his career in 1956 at New Providence Demonstration School, which is now Byrns Darden Elementary school. At that time education students from Austin Peay did their practice teaching at New Providence. He taught physical education to all grades K-9 and coached the boys’ basketball and football teams. In 1958 Johnny begin teaching and coaching at Greenwood Junior High School. His football and basketball teams held outstanding records. In 1965 he became head football coach at Clarksville High School. Once again, his teams were exceptional and at the top of state rankings most years. During these years of coaching, he also officiated high school and college basketball. He always said he did it for grocery money, but he would probably would have done it for free. He officiated both OVC and SEC basketball and was fortunate enough to call an NCAA tournament game between Western Kentucky and Jacksonville at Notre Dame on national television. In 1972 Johnny was hired as an Assistant Executive Secretary for the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. He held this position for six years, conducting rules meetings, interpreting rules, conducting investigations relative to enforcing TSSAA rules, and assigning officials to state basketball tournaments and football playoffs. One highlight while working at TSSAA was seeing his daughter and her teammates at Mt Juliet win the Girls Basketball AAA State championship. In 1978 he returned to Clarksville as Athletic Director at Austin Peay State University where he served for six years before becoming the Director of School for Clarksville Montgomery County. The final stop of his career was serving as headmaster of Clarksville Academy from 1989-2000. This proved to be a very special experience as he worked side by side with his son to help make Clarksville Academy one of the best academic and athletic schools in Middle Tennessee. He was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 1989, honored as one of the top officials in OVC history at the 40 th anniversary of the OVC, was named the Midstate Coach of the Year by the Tennessean in 1967, as well as many other accolades and awards. Johnny was also very active in the community. He was a member of the downtown Civitan club for many years, serving as President. He was also a very active member of Hilldale United Methodist Church having served as a teacher and member of many committees. There are many characteristics that defined his life; love of family, commitment, and dedication to those he coached, taught, served with. Probably the thing that defined his life the most was simply hard work. He lived it, believed it, and admired others who worked hard regardless of their vocation. It played an instrumental role in his coaching career as he instilled this characteristic in his teams and players. His parents were unable to help him financially when he began college at Austin Peay. He paid his own way by working several different jobs, from making ice cream at a dairy, raising a tobacco crop, working at B.F Goodrich, and driving a school bus. He would hitchhike home to Springfield on the weekends until he had made enough money by his sophomore year to buy a used car. It could be said that the happiest times in his career were spent coaching his basketball and football teams. He always thought he had the greatest young men to work with and the best assistant coaches. It has been his great pleasure through the years recalling all the games and the young men who played for him. His fondest memory was from his time at New Providence Demonstration school. It was here he met his wife Sara while she was doing her student teaching. They were married in 1958 and together raised two wonderful children, daughter, Marsha and son, John. They were blessed with five grandchildren and two great granddaughters. He was an incredible father and grandfather. He loved and supported all his children and grandchildren in all aspects of their lives.
The family extends special thanks to Tennessee Quality Hospice for their excellent care of our loved one. They made life much easier for him and his family.
Memorial gifts may be made to Hilldale United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 3874 Clarksville, TN 37043.
Since the beginning days of Johnny’s battle with dementia he has been searching for “home”. His family
is feeling his joy that he has now found it and will forever more be at home.