T.O. Miller (Talmage Oscar), 85, of Bryant was welcomed into Heaven Tuesday, May 7, 2013, while in the presence of his family at the Heartland Rehab and Care Center in Benton. He was born February 2, 1928, in Zion, Arkansas. He was a member of Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents Oscar and Geneva McElmurry Miller, his daughter Kristi Miller, his brother Delbert Miller, his sisters Elsie Woods, Mildred Finley, Lillian Duren, Nobia Duren, Snodia Fudge, Eva Haley, Jewel Carpenter and father-in-law Onis Barnett.
He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Rachel Barnett Miller, a son Marty Miller of Chicago, IL, a daughter Kim Miller Mashburn and husband Dennis Mashburn, two grandchildren Tyler Mashburn and Danielle Mashburn all of Mabelvale, a sister Lavada Phillips of Zion, mother-in-law Louise Palmer of Monticello, numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
He always said the most important single event in his life was when he accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at the age of 11. He devoted his life to loving and serving the Lord and caring for his family; he was loved by many because of his devotion to teaching and dedication to helping others succeed in singing or playing an instrument for worship services.
Anyone who knew T.O., Miller knew that he was an original – his natural musical talents were unlimited, whether it was playing the piano, accordion, organ, or guitar or singing with his flawless first tenor voice. He played the piano and sang for the Venable Quartet in concerts for many years and on television (Channel 7) from 1957-1967; he accompanied several other quartets such as the Stamps Quartet., Oklahoma Sooners and McDonald Brothers in the 50’s; and he and his family sang in concerts with the Venable and Millers in the 70’s and more recently a trio know as Glory Bound. He was the Minister of Music for Baptist churches in the Central Arkansas area for 52 years, including Holland Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Benton (26 years); Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Benton; Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Morrilton; Bryant First Baptist Church and Grace Baptist Church, Bryant. T.O. wrote the words and music to 50 gospel songs. Oil painting was a hobby he enjoyed.
He received his BS in Education from Arkansas State Teacher’s College in 1957 and his Masters Degree from UCA in 1967. While in college, he performed in several operas including some lead roles. Following college, he taught sixth grade at Bryant for several years before being employed by the State as part of the initial Operation Head Start. He retired from the VA Medical Center after 20 years as Creative Arts Therapist and he formed/directed a patient band known as The Hill Toppers. He has served on the Arkansas Entertainment Hall of Fame Committee and is a member of the Southern Gospel Music Association.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, May 10 at Oak Park Baptist Church in Little Rock with Rev. Boyce Gail Johnson and Rev. Carl Richey officiating. Visitation will be at 1 p.m. prior to the memorial service. Arrangements are by Dial & Dudley Funeral Home of Bryant. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Oak Park Baptist Church, 8200 Flintridge Road, Little Rock, AR or Alzheimer’s Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, Little Rock, AR 72205
Family Comments: A special thanks to Heartland Rehab & Care Center for their loving care during this difficult time, especially the entire staff on Hall 3. Also our thanks to Saline Memorial Hospice.