A longtime Oktibbeha County jurist and businessman died over the weekend.
Former District 3 Justice Court Judge Jim Mills died Sunday morning following an illness. Mills served on the bench from 1972 to 1984, and again from 2012 to 2016, when he was unseated by current District 3 Justice Court Judge Marty Haug. Mills also served on the Starkville Board of Aldermen, and was respected as a businessman and property manager.
Republican State Rep. Rob Roberson, who practices law in Starkville, reflected on how Mills would be remembered.
“Judge Mills was such a pillar of the community, and has been involved in our government as an alderman, and then was involved with our justice system for so long,” Roberson said. “Honestly, it’s hard to believe that he’s passed, but he was a really decent man. The community will miss him dearly, and I send all the condolences to his family.”
District 1 Justice Court Judge Tony Boykin Jr. knew Mills for more than 40 years. For much of that time, the two served alongside each other.
“As far as I was concerned, he was just a good man,” Boykin said. “He’ll be missed in the community. He’ll be missed in the court system also. He helped a lot of people in a lot of different ways.”
Deputy justice court clerk Lynn Williams remembered Mills’ kindness toward the clerks. She said even after he was unseated by Haug, he would still sometimes come by the Justice Court and take the clerks to lunch at Umi or Applebee’s.
“All he wanted to do was help people,” Williams said. “He wanted to try to help people as best he could.”
Visitation is scheduled for 9-11 a.m. Thursday at Welch Funeral Home with a memorial service following immediately after.
For more on this story, read Tuesday's Starkville Daily News.