MOULTRIE — Although he was known for being soft-spoken, Roger Miller was a presence whether it was on the football field or in law enforcement, where he spent 25 years.
That presence, said those who knew him, will make him missed in the community.
Miller, a Moultrie Police Department lieutenant, died suddenly Monday morning of an apparent heart attack.
“Roger, he’s going to be well missed in Colquitt County,” said Harold Wallace, who said he spent so much time with Miller and his older brothers that he could be considered like a brother. “Roger was a great guy. He never wronged anybody.
“I never heard anybody say Roger was unfair. He’s always been a fair guy. He just was a straight-up genuine guy.”
Miller was remembered for Friday nights when he was a middle linebacker for the Colquitt County Packers.
“The last time I saw Roger was two weeks ago at the football game,” Wallace said. “He had that little smile.”
The loss also is felt with the police department, where Miller was in charge of professional standards.
It’s a terrible loss, not only for the department but for the city of Moultrie and Colquitt County,” Police Chief Frank Lang said. “He had a special love for this community. He could have worked in law enforcement in a number of different places, but he chose to work at home because of his love of this community.”
Miller also had a knack for being fair with both crime victims and those who were accused in criminal cases, Lang said.
The latter “brought about a lot of respect for this agency. They (the accused) had a lot of respect for him, which made our jobs a whole lot easier,” Lang said. “He will be missed. He had an impact on a lot of people.”
Miller’s comrades will be at the funeral scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Lakeside Assembly of God Church where they will perform a final roll call ceremony.
Miller began his law enforcement in 1989 with the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office at the age of 23, Capt. Julius Cox said. He graduated from the police academy in December 1989 and worked as a road deputy with the department until 1992, when he went to work with Gov. Zell Miller’s security team.
A few years later he came back to Moultrie and was hired with the police department.
“His daddy was a deputy with us a long time ago, Nolan Miller,” Cox said. “From what I remember about Roger, he did us a good job.”
Jana Harrington, whose mother baby-sat Miller during the summer and would spend time at Miller’s house when her mother was out of town, said that she was proud when she heard he had chosen law enforcement.
“I was glad because I knew he would enforce the law with compassion,” she said. “I think that’s the kind of person you should have enforcing the law.
“When I think of him I think he was an old soul. I don’t know anyone who was a kinder, gentler spirit. He was just consistent. I’ve never known him to raise his voice.”
David Bass, who played football with Miller, said he also last saw Miller at the Packer game a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s hard to believe,” he said of his former teammate’s death.
Bass remembered Miller running the defense from his middle linebacker position.
“He was a leader,” Bass said. “He was a very good team player. He built everybody up.”