Just days after celebrating his 95th birthday with family and friends, Paul Miles died peacefully at his residence in Bradenton, Florida on March 22, 2022. Survivors include daughter Judy Werner (Tom), son Stephen Miles (Kathy Killion), granddaughters Allison Werner and Molly Russo, great-grandsons Emmett Russo and Elijah Russo, all of whom live in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. Other survivors include his younger brother, Jim Miles (Phyllis), of Little Rock, Arkansas, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Paul Mack Miles was born on March 12, 1927, in the rural community of Cache, Arkansas, the fourth of five children of Rev. James Oscar Miles and Lillian Willcox Miles. After serving in the Army just after World War II, Paul attended Ouachita Baptist College, where he met and married his beloved wife of 72 years, Marion Tipton, who passed in 2020. Ever ambitious and industrious, Paul enjoyed a successful career as an executive in the automotive industry before becoming a financial advisor, working with Investors Diversified Services (later Ameriprise Financial). In recognition of his remarkable productivity, Paul was inducted into the IDS Hall of Fame in 1987.
Paul and Marion shared a life of service, dedicated to helping others. Devout Christians, both were very active in Central Baptist Church in Knoxville, with Marion teaching Sunday School and singing in the choir, and Paul serving as a deacon. They were also committed philanthropists, with a focus on higher education, supporting the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK), Carson-Newman University, Ouachita Baptist University, and New College of Florida. In recognition of his charitable giving, Paul was named “Outstanding Philanthropist” by the National Society of Fundraising Executives in 1996. Beyond his financial contributions, Paul donated time and energy, serving as a member of the UTK Chancellor’s Associates and as past chair of the UTK Library Friends Executive Committee. For all his efforts over many years, the University of Tennessee honored Paul as “Volunteer of the Year” in 1996. Having attended a Baptist college, Paul and Marion became very involved with Carson-Newman University, another Christian institution, contributing generously, with Paul serving on the Carson-Newman Board of Trustees. Paul believed in the power of education to transform lives, starting with the ability to read and write, and was for many years active in the Friends of Literacy in Knoxville.
Paul was a work-hard/play-hard kind of guy. He played tennis and golf into his late 80s, often competing against opponents decades younger, and was also an avid bridge player. A talented pianist, Paul loved all music, especially jazz. He and Marion regularly attended performances of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and cultural and athletic events at UTK.
Paul loved meeting new people and was genuinely interested in their life experiences. He will always be remembered for his kindness, his generosity, his great sense of humor, and his deep curiosity about the world.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Paul’s memory may be sent to the Tidewell Foundation, 5595 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238 or Tidewellfoundation.org.