OCEAN SPRINGS -- Former Jackson County Chancery Clerk Terry Miller served his constituency for 17 years, working steadfastly through the illness that eventually killed him.
"He just wasn't a complainer," Miller's wife, Thelma Miller, said. "He was not a lazy person. He was so proud to serve Jackson County."
Terry Miller died Tuesday just weeks after retiring from office Dec. 31. He was 72.
Despite suffering from kidney disease and rheumatoid arthritis, Miller remained in high spirits up until the end of his life, his wife said.
He first took office in 1998, winning against a crowded field of 17 candidates.
"He came from out of the blue among 17 people," his wife said. "He worked hard. He loved campaigning. He loved meeting the people and talking."
He helped the county bounce back after 2005's Hurricane Katrina, recovering the waterlogged records from his office, drying them out and making electronic copies.
A lifelong Ocean Springs resident, he kept up with his friends from grammar school who were by his side until his death.
When he wasn't with his family, he spent his free time fishing and playing tennis.
"He loved to play tennis, but he loved fishing more than anything," Thelma Miller said. "He was a good father, a good husband, a good grandfather and a good friend to people."
Miller was a former Jackson County Port Authority commissioner and a past director of the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. He graduated from Ocean Springs High School, earned an accounting degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master's from William Carey College.
Visitation is set for 9 until the 11 a.m. service Friday at First Baptist Church, 602 Washington Ave., Ocean Springs. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.