James Barton Miller was welcomed into heaven on July 12, 2020, after a painful battle with cancer. He passed away at his home, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren as was his wish.
James was born in Hannibal, Missouri, on March 12, 1959, to William Joseph Miller and Agnes Louise Janes Miller. He married the love of his life, Janice Elaine Septer, on July 3, 1982, at Indian Creek Baptist Church in New Hartford, Missouri. To this union were born three daughters -- Christiana, Mary, and Gretel.
James grew up on the family farm in Frankford, Missouri, where he helped raise the livestock and hogs and run the family sawmill. He also worked with his family hauling hay on several farms in the Frankford and Hannibal area.
He attended Frankford Elementary School and Bowling Green High School and graduated in 1977. While in high school, he was active in Future Farmers of America and Choir all four years, played the clarinet, was in three high school musicals, and ran the lighting for the musical on the fourth year.
After graduation, he moved to Ashland, Missouri, and worked at Mid-State Concrete Pipe Company in Fulton, Missouri. In April of 1980, after his father’s heart attack, he returned to Frankford to help with the farm and sawmill. The same year, he was also ordained as a deacon at Frankford Baptist Church. From 1980 to 1982, Jim sang in the Salt River Baptist Associational Choir where he would meet his wife.
Jim then worked as a bus driver and study hall monitor for Lincoln County R-I Schools in Silex, Missouri, from 1982 to 1983. The couple later moved to Millersburg, Missouri, and he returned to work at Mid-State Concrete. Jim worked for the same company—under a variety of names—for thirty-eight years until his heart attack in 2019. During the winter months of ’83, ’84, ’85, he was the house parent and bus driver for the Missouri School for the Deaf. The family relocated to Fulton, Missouri, in 1998 after a fire destroyed their home.
Jim was a wonderful, strong, godly Christian man, with a big heart. He loved music, working in church, working with children, and helping people. He was active in Frankford Baptist Church, Millersburg Baptist Church, and Union Hill Baptist Church serving as deacon, Sunday School teacher, RA leader, music and choir director, Vacation Bible School worker, yard maintenance worker, and wherever else he was needed. He also enjoyed spreading joy as a member of the Kingdom Klowns for Jesus of Jefferson City, Missouri. Jim was a certified leader for the Heart of Missouri Girl Scouts where he served as a designated driver, helper at Father-Daughter Campout and Day Camps, and a variety of other Girl Scout outings. Some of his most loved hobbies included fishing, fixing things, coaching softball, playing Monday night basketball, and anything he could enjoy with his children and/or grandchildren.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents William and Louise Miller; and his in-laws: Earnest (Shirley) Septer, Earnestine (Wayne) Harvey, Don Sammons, and Ronald Septer. He was survived by his wife of 38 years: Janice; three daughters: Christiana (Jimmy) Mustion of Jefferson City, Mary (Scotty) Watson of Fulton, and Gretel (Dakota) Engel of Tuscaloosa, Alabama; four grandchildren: Noelle Mustion, Isabella & William Watson, and Abigail Engel; five siblings: Joy Miller of Ashland, Doren (Lynn) Miller of Clarksville, Jeff (Fay) Miller of Curryville, Ronnie (Joyce) Meyer of Palmyra, and Lonnie Meyer of Mexico; two sisters-in-law: Retha Sammons of Salem, Iowa, and Judy Septer of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A Celebration of Jim’s life will be 11 a.m. Saturday July 18, 2020 at Union Hill Baptist Church. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family in care of the funeral home.
Arrangements are under the direction of TYLER M. WOODS FUNERAL DIRECTOR, 611 E. Capitol Ave. Jefferson City, Missouri 65101. (573) 636-2424