Those who worked with Anderson “Jute” Miller for the 24 years that he served Bradley County Trustee’s Office never knew him as anything less than efficient, customer friendly and happy to be counted among the community’s most popular elected officials.
Those who talked with Anderson “Jute” Miller will never forget his gift for gab, his down-home ways, his love for Cleveland and Bradley County, and his country charm.
Those who appreciated the other side of Anderson “Jute” Miller — the guy who cut their hair at Jute’s Barber and Hairstyling — will forever recall his pleasant conversation, his mastery of an age-old craft and his interest in swapping tales with all customers, both young and old.
Those who shared the common interest of “Rook” with Anderson “Jute” Miller probably enjoyed nothing more than a sit-down at the card table with a foursome while basking in the comfort and relaxation of the popular card game. Among these — and there were many — were the regular players who convened for the annual Bigsby Creek Rook Tournament traditionally hosted by Cleveland businessman Jim Sharp.
Those who embraced a higher power with Anderson “Jute” Miller relished a warm handshake and a Sunday morning greeting at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
Those whose friendship with Anderson “Jute” Miller extended into the years and throughout the decades will forever remember him — as his son, Jeff, phrased it — as being a “gentle man.”
Those who enjoyed the company most of Anderson “Jute” Miller surely are among the first to ask, “... Anderson? Anderson who?” Indeed, they knew him only as “Jute.” They always did. They always would. They always will.
The Cleveland and Bradley County community last Thursday bid farewell to “Jute.” He was 73.
No longer in the public eye and far removed from his years as an elected Courthouse official, “Jute” continued his barbering after his political days, and his smile never vanished. He will be remembered for that smile, as well as his commitment to the people of this town and county.
Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis is one who saw the former trustee’s lighthearted side. He recalled “Jute” once dressing as “Superman” during a political campaign. Whether it garnered him many votes we cannot say, but truly “Jute” was a man of the people and one who considered Bradley County his home although he was a native son to neighboring Meigs County.
“He will be greatly missed by the people in Bradley County,” Davis told our newspaper.
No truer words can be spoken.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland, whose family attended church with “Jute’s” family, remembers “Jute” the trustee, “Jute” the barber, “Jute” the Rook player and “Jute” the smiling face and overall good guy.
“He would always stop by City Hall just to say hello,” Rowland recalled. “[His death] is a tremendous loss for our city.”
The Cleveland mayor also remembers Jute’s passion for people.
“He was always willing to help someone in need, and provide service to others,” Rowland reflected. “Jute was always smiling, always cordial.”
It is also how we will remember him.
“Jute” Miller wasn’t a man of pomp and circumstance and of high demands, nor was he a longtime elected official who served his constituency from atop a lofty pedestal.
“Jute” was every man’s man.
“Jute” was every man’s friend.
“Jute” was every man’s confidante.
We will miss him. We will admire him in memory. We will reflect on him in peace.
And in so doing, we will honor him for making Cleveland and Bradley County an even finer place to call home.