Thomas Campbell “TC” Miller died peacefully on the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, surrounded by family and friends at home. For nearly two years, Campbell faced the challenge of Stage IV pancreatic cancer with love, faith, strength and positivity.
Thomas Campbell Miller was born in Billings on Aug. 6, 1971, to Harry Michael Miller and Peggy Hart. The first name he learned to write was “Cam,” and he went by Campbell until he was 10 and then decided he wanted to go by Thomas. Many names followed — TC, Miller, Soup, Barge and Tom among them. When asked what he wanted to be called, his answer was always, “Just don’t call me late to dinner.”
Campbell grew up in Billings, attending Rimrock and Sandstone Elementary, Castle Rock Junior High and Billings Senior High. He participated in impromptu speaking, youth group at First Congregational Church, marching and pep band, and Student Council as a mighty Bronc. Campbell attended the University of Montana and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public administration in 1996. In 1994, he and his sister Lisa lived in Germany on an exchange program. Campbell liked to say he spent some extra years of “service” at UM, serving as a Head Resident Assistant, a UM Advocate and a founding father of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at UM.
Following college, Campbell had a myriad of jobs and endeavors. He was a natural leader and ultimately loved to help people. Campbell had an incredible work ethic (some may say intensity) and an entrepreneurial spirit. His license plate once read “Fun, Inc.,” and he dreamed of starting a business named as such. After college, he served as Team Leader for Americorps at the United Way of Yellowstone County. To pay the bills and support his adventures, he spent time as a bartender, sushi sous chef, door-to-door salesman, Montessori pre-school teacher, health club manager and house painter. Since 2005, Campbell worked at Industrial Communications and Electronics in Billings, and enjoyed helping a diverse range of customers. He was an amazing salesman and had a knack for building relationships with people from all walks of life.
In 2005, Campbell moved home to Billings after a short time in Oregon and Colorado. That summer, he met up with his longtime friend Carrie McClelland to go fly-fishing at her family’s cabin at Camp Senia in the Beartooth Mountains. Carrie and Campbell first met nearly 20 years earlier through her brother who attended Camp Mimanagish on the Boulder River with Campbell. While Carrie always had a crush on Campbell, it took him awhile longer to figure out she was “the one.” That weekend, he asked her to “Come on Home, Girl” and the two were married on July 28, 2007, at the same fishing spot. In July 2010, Carrie and Campbell welcomed their first son, Hart McClelland Miller. Campbell beamed with pride at becoming a father and was ready to have another child just as soon as the first was born. In June 2012, Truman Campbell Miller joined the family. Campbell loved his sons with all his heart and would have walked through fire to protect them from harm. He dreamed of the days when he would teach them to hunt and fish in the beautiful nature of Montana. While living in Scottsdale, Arizona, for cancer treatment in 2017, Campbell drew the boys elaborate pictures of knights, aliens, robots and animals so they would know he always kept them close in his heart.
Campbell loved life and particularly living in Montana. His hobbies included upland bird hunting, big game hunting, fly fishing, rock collecting and anything that took him out into the Big Wide Open with his dogs Asa and Lucy. He also loved to garden, draw with his boys, listen to music, make people laugh, practice Tai Chi, read, and help to make his house a home. Most recently, Campbell served on the Volunteer Center Advisory Council and the Region 5 Citizen Advisory Council of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
Campbell’s motto was “Every Day is a Miracle,” and he taught us all to appreciate that saying in the deepest sense over the last two years as he faced this cancer challenge. He was an incredibly loyal, authentic and loving father, husband, brother, son and friend. He had impeccable manners and used his “Pleases and Thank Yous” up until the day he died. He left big shoes to fill — at 5’ 11” (and 3/4), this larger than life man of only 46 years had size 13 feet. We will miss him dearly, but his legacy of love and light will live on in his sons and all who knew him.
Carrie and family would like to thank the HonorHealth Research Institute, Billings Clinic Cancer Center, Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic and the variety of healing practitioners in Billings and Scottsdale from whom Campbell received care, treatment, and love these past two years.
Campbell is survived by his incredible wife, Carrie and sons Hart and Truman Miller of Billings; parents, Harry Miller and Peg Hart, both of Billings; sister, Lisa (Matt) Hayhurst and their sons Elliott, Charlie and Ben of Missoula; paternal grandmother, Rowena Weil of Billings; in-laws, Doug and Liza McClelland of Billings; brother-in-law, John (Zellie) McClelland and their children Jack, Claire and Christopher of St. Louis, Missouri; and many other loving family and friends.
A celebration of Campbell’s life will be at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19, at First Congregational Church, located at 310 N. 27th St. in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the T.C. Miller Benefit Fund at First Interstate Bank to support his wife and sons or to the HonorHealth Research Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.