Jack Miles went to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday, June 4, at the age of 90 years. He was born Aug. 13, 1927, in Kingsbury, Texas, to Louis and Zora Gray Miles. He was married to Erma Ritchie on Oct. 12, 1947, in Washington, D.C.
Jack served his country as a member of the Merchant Marines and later as a member of the United States Air Force. He graduated from Southwest Texas State Teachers College (now Texas State University) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education for all levels of school and administration. He later returned to complete his Master’s Degree in Education. He taught many grades of students in Robstown and Smiley, Texas, and was a teacher and the principal in Gillett, Texas. Upon moving to Gonzales in 1967, he began teaching at the Texas Elks Crippled Children’s facility in Ottine, and later he taught homebound students in the Gonzales Independent School District. He also drove the school bus for many years. In the late 1960’s and the early 1970’s, he touched many youth’s lives by managing the Gonzales Teen Center. He retired after 30 years of teaching.
For many years his favorite hobby of photography (both taking and developing pictures) was something he took very seriously and enjoyed immensely. Through his photos, he documented many life events and memories for not only family but also his students and their families. He loved it so much he even worked in the photography department at Wal-Mart in Gonzales when it opened. Before retirement, Jack and Erma worked together to remodel a historic home in Gonzales where many more memories were made with family and friends. No stranger ever came to the door of their home. And there was never a time when he didn’t have the time to answer a question from any of his kids, grandkids or great grand kids. In 1995, Jack and Erma moved to their family farm near Bebe where they spent countless hours watching the cows and wildlife and spent time with the grandkids. He loved seeing his family enjoy their time on the farm. Jack was a Master Mason of the Lockhart Masonic Lodge from which he received his 60-year pin. He was also a proud member of the First Baptist Church of Smiley.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Zora Miles. He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Erma; two sons – Rev. Marvin (Vicki) Miles of Smiley, and Larry (Brenda) Miles of Bebe; four grandchildren – Melanie Svoboda and Tina (John) Lyles of Bebe; Kristi (Jared) Everhart of Kyle, and Jack Aaron Miles of Pleasanton; five great grandchildren – Zachary (Ashley) Miles of Nixon, Miles Svoboda, Natalie and Megan Tenberg and Kailyn Lyles of Bebe; and two great-great grandchildren – Laramie Birdwell and Madyson Miles, of Nixon.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at Finch Funeral Chapel in Nixon, Texas, on Friday, June 8, at 10 a.m. with Rev. Marvin Miles officiating. Visitation will be held Thursday, June 7, from 5-7 p.m. at Finch Funeral Chapel. Interment will follow the celebration of life at Bundick Cemetery in Smiley, Texas. Pallbearers will be Jack Aaron Miles, Zachary Miles, Miles Svoboda, John Lyles, Dennis Patteson, Paul Ritchie, Wilson Ritchie, and Jeff Beimer.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Finch Funeral Chapel in Nixon, Texas. Family is requesting that, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Baptist Church Smiley, P.O. Box 100, Smiley, TX 78159. The on-line guestbook may be signed at www.finchfuneralchapels.com.