Brandon, Miss. --- Born on November 25, 1953, in Greenwood, Miss., Oby passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, August 22, 2020. He was the middle son of Eldridge and Laura Holeman Miller and attended public schools in Leflore County, Greenwood, and Brandon.
Drafted by the U.S. Army in 1971, he was sent to Ft. Gordon, Georgia for Basic Training and U.S. Army Military Police Training School. He then attended U.S. Army Infantry School, U.S. Army Officer Candidate School, and U.S. Army Ranger School, Special Operations Force, at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He earned certification as an Expert Marksman in Automatic Rifle and Grenade.
Oby resigned his Commission and returned to Mississippi joining the Miss. Army National Guard, 131st Aviation Battalion (Cbt), Hawkins Field, Jackson, as Tactical Communications Chief. Before he departed in 1981, he graduated from the Mississippi Army National Guard Military Academy and was awarded the Army Service Ribbon and the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster.
Oby accepted a position with the Miss. State Highway Department in 1974 and after over 25 years of service, he achieved the position of Maintenance Superintendent over Hinds, Madison, Rankin, and Leake counties in the Fifth District.
Upon retirement from State service in 1998, Oby rejoined the military, but this time with the Miss. Air National Guard, 172nd Airlift Wing, Thompson Field, Jackson, until he retired in 2010.
Following the events of 9-11, he served on Active Duty in support of OPERATION SUNSHINE II (Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport),
OPERATION RED FLAG (Nellis Air Force Basis, Nevada), OPERATION JOINT
FORGE (Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany and Thompson Field, Jackson), and OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM (Ramstein and Sembach Air Force Bases, Germany and Shahbaz Air Force Base, Jacobabad, Pakistan), as well as supplementing Security Forces, 172nd Airlift Wing, Thompson Field, Jackson.
In recognition of his service, the Air National Guard presented Oby with the Air Force Achievement Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon, Basic Transportation Badge, Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, and Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, and a personal thank you letter from President George W. Bush, which he proudly displayed.
Oby is survived by his wife Denise, his daughter Mary-Paxton and her fiancé Jason Love, his brother Danny and wife Tracy, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law Bobby and Barbara Sanders of Granbury, Texas, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and close personal friends that held him close and loved him dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents and his older brother, Turner (Tommy).
He was a Communicant of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Brandon for over 25 years.
Acting upon his wishes, he was cremated and a private family Committal Service was held at the U.S. National Veterans Cemetery in Biloxi on Wednesday, September 2 with military honors rendered.
If you had the opportunity to meet Oby, you know he was as unique a person as his name. Friends and family wishing to honor his memory might consider a donation to the United Service Organization (U.S.O.), P.O. Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677 (www.uso.org) because that organization was of great assistance to him while overseas or to Friends of Batson Children’s Hospital, 3900 Lakeland Dr., #205, Flowood, MS 39232 (www.friendsofch.org).
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