He was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Ann Lois (Miller) Miles of Samson, Ala.; daughter, of Emma Miller; sister, Jean; and brothers: Vincent, Edward, Alphonse, and Robert; and granddaughter, Karen Rita Cordray. His parents were Lithuanian immigrants Peter and Antonette Pauline (Baronas) Milauskas Miles of Brockton, Mass., where he grew up.
He began his Army career as a private in 1945 then rose to first sergeant in the 88th Infantry Division, U.S. Army of Occupation, Italy. After a four-year break in active service, he returned to active duty during the War in Korea, accepted a commission and saw combat as an Infantry company commander in the Seventh Infantry Division. He later deployed to the Republic of Vietnam and worked for Gen. Westmoreland at Headquarters, U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam. He completed his active duty service as the adjutant general for the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Ala.
He pursued civilian life with the same energy and commitment as his government service. He was business manager, Ray Hughes Chevrolet Inc., Enterprise, Ala.; business manager, Mary Chevrolet Company, Inc., Troy, Ala.; executive director, Enterprise Chamber of Commerce Inc., Enterprise; and Secretary-treasurer, Ed Sherling Ford Inc., Enterprise.
At given times during his life, he was a Boy Scout, a member of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose and the Legion of the Moose, a Master Mason and member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, and the Retired Officers Association.
He joined the Lions Club in 1971, serving as the president of the Enterprise Lions Club and the district governor, and was granted life membership status. For many years, because of his resonant speaking voice and commanding presence,he was called upon to install officers at Lions Clubs in the Southeast Alabama area as well as the installation of officers of the Enterprise Chamber of Commerce.
He loved war movies and westerns, McDonald’s fish sandwiches, McLin’s catfish, Zaxby’s chicken, and Cracker Barrel in general. He made the best dumpling soup and his Thanksgiving turkey was cooked to perfection and on time.
He loved the Lord and was a devoted member of the Enterprise First Baptist Church. He was a witness to many during his walk of faith. His family and friends will miss him greatly.
He is survived by his children: Dianne Elizabeth Brooks (Terry), Rebecca Jean Cordray (Joe), and Francis Charles Miles II (Robbin); eight grandchildren: Markus Derrell Howell, Jeffrey Lance Howell, Kristina Rebecca Milling, Kimberly Ann Cordray, Kevin William Cordray, Matthew Charles Miles, MD, Michael Robert Miles, and Sgt. Joshua Clifton Miles; and 11 great-grandchildren: Robert James Milling V (Quint), Sophie Katharine Elizabeth Milling, Emma Grace Victoria Milling, Sarah Kate Maryann Howell, Elijah Saxon Brooks Howell, Sylvia Brooke Howell, Lillian June Howell, Melody Grace Miles, Penelope Faith Miles, Westley Charles Miles, and Ethan Joshua Miles.
The funeral with full military honor was held to honor and celebrate his life on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011, in Enterprise.
Sorrells Funeral Home, 4550 Boll Weevil Circle, Enterprise, Ala. was in charge of arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.