John Richard Miller, Jr.

John Richard Miller, Jr., a current resident of Destin, died on Jan. 26, 2014, at the age of 93. He was born on May 8, 1920, in Brewton, Ala., and was preceded in death by his parents, John Richard Miller, Sr. and Lucille McGowin Miller, as well as his sister and brother-in-law, Alice Jean Miller Huxford and Camilla Calvit Huxford. He was the last living grandchild of the late Thomas Richard Miller.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Virginia Earl Kersh Miller, and their four children, Nancy Miller Melton (Billy) of Evergreen, Ala., John Richard Miller, III (Carol) of Loxley, Ala., David Earl Miller (Jane) of Port St. Joe, Fla., and Jean Miller Stimpson (Sandy) of Mobile, Ala. He has 10 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Mr. Miller was a native and longtime resident of Brewton, and received his early education there. After graduating from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Ind., he attended the University of Alabama where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon social fraternity.

Mr. Miller served as a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps, 8th Air Force, in the European Theatre of Operation in World War II.  He received the decorations of Air Medal, E.T.O. Medal and a Presidential Citation. He was honorably discharged with the rank of major.

He returned to Brewton and, like his grandfather and father, was employed by T. R. Miller Mill Company, where he held various positions, namely director 1946, vice-president and director 1947-1967, president 1967-1986, chairman of the board 1986-2009 and chairman emeritus until his death. He served as chairman of the board of Cedar Creek Land & Timber Company from its inception until 2009. 

He served on a number of other boards including Neal Land & Timber Co., Inc., First National Bank, and was a founding member of the Bank of Mobile. 

He was a trusted advisor to the family office he established, Miller Investment Group.  While Mr. Miller served as the third generation patriarch of his family and business, he did not neglect his commitments to his churches, First United Methodist Church of Brewton and Destin, his community, his state or his country.

He was a lifelong member of the Brewton Rotary Club.  He served on the Brewton City School Board, as well as the Presidentís Cabinet and the Business Schoolís Board of Visitors at The University of Alabama, where he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree by the University of Alabama in May, 1996. He also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree by Mobile College (now University of Mobile) in May, 1997. He was inducted into the Alabama Business Hall of Fame, like his father before him, at The University of Alabama.

He loved the outdoors and was an excellent wing shot, but he was particularly partial to fishing Shipp Pond, Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico with his family, friends and business associates.

He will always be remembered for his humility, generosity and kindness to all.

A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church in Brewton at 1 p.m. Jan. 31 with Dr. Ed
Glaize and Dr. Lawson Bryan officiating and Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home Of Brewton directing. The family will receive friends in the Fellowship Hall one hour before the service. 

The family suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Post Office Box 289, Brewton, AL 36427 or Destin United Methodist Church, 200 Beach Drive, Destin, FL 32541.