(Editor’s Note–James J. “Jim” Miller of Moss Bluff (formerly of DeQuincy) passed away Sunday, Sept. 1, at the age of 82. Miller was owner of Miller Livestock for over 50 years. He was a collegiate and professional cowboy. Miller was one of the first inductees to the McNeese State Rodeo Hall of Fame.)
James J. “Jim” Miller passed away Sunday night on Sept. 1, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He left his earthly life at the age of 82 years young and went on to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Born in Eunice on Apr. 20, 1937, he graduated from St. Edmund’s Catholic School in Eunice and went on to attend McNeese State University on a rodeo scholarship. During his college career, he went on to capture the title of National All-Around Cowboy. Along with his teammates, they brought home the National Championship trophy for three years. Jim went on to compete on the professional level in the R.C.A. and advancing himself to the NFR top 15 Bareback riders in 1960.
He caught the attention of a movie producer while at the NFR not only for his riding skills, but for his good looks. Hollywood was calling Jim, but he turned them down as he had a young family with aspirations of opening a cattle business.
In 1963, he moved his family to DeQuincy and started Miller Livestock. This business became his passion and was the love of his life. He eventually expanded with locations in Beaumont, DeRidder, and Lake Charles. His passion allowed him to serve his customers for over 50 years. Jim donated much of his time and skills to promote 4-H, FFA and the Cattleman’s industry. Miller Livestock was among the top 50 businesses in Calcasieu for several years.
Jim served on the National Rodeo Historical Society Board of Directors (National Cowboy Hall of Fame) in OKC, Okla. and was elected as President. He was one of the first inductees into the McNeese State Rodeo Hall of Fame. His recent achievement was being awarded into the 4-H SWLA Hall of Fame along with many other awards and appointees.
He is a member of St. Theodore’s Catholic Church in Moss Bluff.
He is survived by his children; Bridget Armistead (Randy) of Moss Bluff, Shirley Sweat (Joey) of DeQuincy, Cindy Milner (Jerry) of Moss Bluff and Clay Miller of DeQuincy; nine grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his dear parents, Ben and Eva Miller of Eunice; sons, Jay and Hank Miller; brother, Dr. Jack D. Miller; and sister, Beneva Langolois.
Visitation will be held at Hixson’s Funeral Home at in Moss Bluff on Wednesday Sept. 4 from 5-9 p.m., with ACTS Holy Rosary at 6 p.m.
Funeral Mass service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Theodore’s Catholic of Moss Bluff. Father Whitney will officiate. Burial will follow at Perkins Cemetery in DeQuincy.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) at alzfdn.org.