"A Lake Charles Legend" - by Rev. Weldon Bares


Joe Miller, Sr. was a Lake Charles legend. He made a difference in this community through the many things he built, including the Interstate 210 bridge and Memorial Hospital. He continued to make a difference through his generosity and his public service, including coaching little league baseball for over forty years. I was honored to be his friend and his pastor.

Several months before he passed away, his doctor wanted to do a procedure that was somewhat risky. The doctor warned him, “Mr. Miller, there is a chance that you won’t make it through the surgery. Do you still want to do it?”

Joe told me that he said to the doctor, “Well, doctor, I am not afraid. The way that I look at it, this is a win-win situation. If I die, I will go to be with the Lord and with my wife in heaven. If I live, I will keep on going here.”

He made it through the operation, but what a wonderful attitude. To me, his statement sounds like the Apostle Paul who said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1: 21)

Jeaux was such an inspiration. I really miss him. But I know that this life is not all there is. There is life on the other side of the grave. There is more to come that we cannot even begin to imagine. I firmly believe that those who love God never say goodbye for the last time.