A celebration of life for Theo C. "Cotton" Miles, 97, of Wills Point, TX, will be held at 1:00 PM, Saturday, December 4, 2021, at Russell Memorial United Methodist Church in Wills Point with a reception immediately following. Services are under the direction of Hiett's LyBrand Funeral Home.
Cotton passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 27, 2021.
Theo Cleveland Miles was born on August 7, 1924 in Jasper, Texas. He was the third of seven children born to Mary Elizabeth Connor Miles and Charlie Cleveland Miles. His bright, white hair gave him the nickname “Cotton” that lasted throughout his life. Growing up in Woodville, Texas he spent his humble adolescence working the land with his older siblings. This hard work and his gifted athletic ability led him to Lamar Tech in Beaumont, Texas where he received an education and met the love of his life, Lula Francis Hawthorne Miles.
Cotton was 2 years into college when the bombing of Pearl Harbor called him into service with the United States Navy. He often said that the service took three of the best years of his life, but he trusted the good Lord’s direction in sending him there. He valued the discipline and perspective that he gained and was thankful for the ability to serve.
Upon discharge from the Navy, Cotton immediately reunited with Lue, whom he’d been in constant correspondence with throughout his service. They were married three months after his return. Cotton was offered a scholarship to play football at Stephen F. Austin as a running back. He played football, baseball, basketball and ran track and was one of very few athletes to letter in all four sports.
Upon graduation, Cotton played minor league baseball for one year in Lufkin, Texas. He then went to coach and teach at White Oak High School where in 1957 he led the football team to the co-state championship. From there he went to Woodrow Wilson in Dallas, Texas, where he won numerous city and district championships. After Woodrow, he went to Skyline High School where he again led his team to the state playoffs. In 1975 he retired from coaching and moved to Wills Point, Texas to serve as High School Principal.
Throughout his life, Cotton received many awards including being inducted into the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame, the Stephen F. Austin Athletic Hall of Fame and the Woodrow Wilson High School Hall of Fame. Of all his many accomplishments and achievements, he was most proud of his role as loving husband to his wife Lue, admiring father to his son Scotty and adoring grandfather to his granddaughters and great grandchildren. It was well known Cotton loved all his former players, coaches and students and considered them his family.
Cotton is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Buford, Otha, Sylvialois, Glenn and David; his wife, Lula; his daughter-in-law, Marian Chappell Miles; and his grandson-in-law, John Marshall Neill.
He is survived by his sister, Elenor Hurst of Austin; son, David Scott Miles of Dallas; granddaughters, Mikell Miles Abney and husband Will of Midland and Meredith Miles Neill of Dallas; and great grandchildren Miles, Peyton and Ruben Abney of Midland and Taber Neill of Dallas.
In lieu of flowers the family has requested gifts be made in Cotton’s memory to the Bynum School of Midland, Texas where his great granddaughter Peyton is blessed to attend or Russell Memorial United Methodist Church of Wills Point, Texas.
P.O. Box 80175
Midland, Texas 79708
Russell Memorial United Methodist Church
201 S. Fourth Street
Wills Point, Texas 75169
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Theo “Cotton” Miles, please visit our floral store.