Tom was born on January 2, 1938 to Frank Toliver Milligan and Ruth Thompson “Tommy” Milligan. He had the distinction to be the very first baby born in the new Greene County Hospital in Jefferson, Iowa. Tom married his high school sweetheart Loralee “Lori” Hildreth on May 28, 1966 in Boulder, Colorado.
He was a graduate of UCLA where he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He then began his Navy career serving aboard the USS Vance and USS Barney, achieving the rank of Lieutenant, and Honorably Discharged in 1964. He continued with graduate studies at University of Colorado and University of Washington, where he received his MBA in 1967.
Tom had a love of airplanes. His parents gifted him his first flying lessons his senior year of high school, where he spent the spring and summer learning to fly in a 65HP Piper J-3 Cub. This love led to a successful and illustrious 33 year career at Boeing where he held various positions in marketing and sales. He was instrumental in supplying the innovative Boeing planes to North American airline fleets. He flew the very first 737-300 that was delivered. When he “retired” from Boeing, he spent the next 2 years as Senior Vice President, Aircraft Acquisitions for the Las Vegas based National Airlines.
Tom had a great love of playing and watching golf, was a voracious reader, and was a member of the Fountains, A United Methodist Church in Fountain Hills.
Tom and Lori were longtime residents of Washington State and lived briefly in Nevada prior to moving to Arizona, where they had homes in Payson and Fountain Hills. He was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Tommy, his wife Lori, and his sister Jane.
Tom leaves behind his nieces Alison, Joni, Julie, Karen, and nephews Eric and Steve along with their families. He also leaves the Mercer family godchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held in 2021 when it can be thoughtfully planned to take into consideration the current state of the pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to:
AZ Maine Coon Cat Rescue
Fearless Kitty Rescue
The Fountains, A United Methodist Church