Scott Miller, who spent 47 years as a pilot and 26 years with the Electronic Data Systems (EDS) flight department, eventually becoming its manager, has died at age 72 after being diagnosed with incurable cancer.
“He so loved to fly,” recalled his partner, Nancie Kathrens. Miller’s last flight on July 30 was one of his regular contract flights in a Gulfstream for Cook Canyon Ranch, and after he landed at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport he wasn’t feeling well and went straight to the hospital, she explained. After 10 days there and a lengthy chemotherapy treatment, he elected to go home. “It was brutal on him, and he said, ‘no more,’” she told AIN. He died on September 27.
Born in Corvallis, Oregon, Miller served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, finding inspiration to pursue an aviation career while working on the flight deck of the USS Midway aircraft carrier. He returned to Oregon and, after learning to fly and earning advanced certificates, got his first flying job with Western Skyways in Troutdale.
Miller then switched to corporate flying after moving to Texas, where he signed on with Sabine Oil & Gas, met and married Glynda Sue Sanders, and then joined EDS, the pioneering computer outsourcing company founded by Ross Perot. Under Miller’s leadership, the EDS operation grew into one of the largest corporate flight departments operating Learjets. Miller’s 26-year career at EDS spanned Perot’s sale of the company to General Motors, then EDS’s spinoff as an independent company in 1996, followed by its sale to Hewlett-Packard in 2008, after which Miller left the company.
Pursuing his love of flying, Miller then combined flying for General Data Tech with teaching at CAE, finally retiring from the General Data Tech job. He continued to fly as a contract pilot when a former EDS pilot and friend hired him to fly for Cook Canyon Ranch.
According to Kathrens, “He lived in Millsap, Texas, on a small ranch with me. He loved it. It was peaceful and quiet. We sat out on the porch in the evenings and watched the horses. He enjoyed all the farm equipment...the tractors, the arena plows. He was always busy doing ranch work. Everyone Scott met enjoyed him immensely. He found a whole new group of 'horse friends’ to add to the plethora of great folks he already knew.”
Miller is survived by Kathrens; his sister, Macie Brightman; stepdaughters Michelle Sandlin and Deana Demoret; and six granddaughters.
A memorial service is planned for November 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, those who knew Miller should email Kathrens a note with a favorite memory of him.