Company Mourns the Death of Founder

Mr. “J.P.” Miles dies at the age of 88

Lumberton, Mississippi – Mr. Joseph Percy Miles, age 88, died Saturday, October 14, 2006 at his home following a battle with lung cancer. Mr. Miles was a resident of Lumberton, Mississippi.

He was a lumber entrepreneur who once designed an entire sawmill on a paper placemat at a seafood restaurant. Miles’ friends and family often joked that “J.P.” as he was known, did nothing in moderation if he could do it in excess. In the 1960’s for instance, he bought his own place and got his pilot’s license, which he used for family vacations. He learned to play tennis at the age of 60 and was noted for his evil slices and spins. But more important, he was wonderfully excessive in his embrace of life, his family and his community.

The longtime Lumberton resident was born in Slidell, Louisiana on October 3, 1918. In 1921, he moved to Nicaragua, where his father worked for a lumber company and his late brother Roy was born in 1924. During World War II, the two brothers served in the United States Army in the European theater, and in 1946, they became partners in Joe N. Miles and Sons Lumber, the Lumberton business their father founded in 1934.

As a businessman, Miles was excessively savvy and inventive. Until the time of his death, he served as chairman of the board of Joe N. Miles and Sons Inc., a successful family-owned corporation with sawmills in Lumberton, Mississippi, Silver Creek, Mississippi and Bogalusa, Louisiana.

An inventive problem solver, Miles was instrumental in designing much of the machinery for the mills, often sketching plans on paper napkins and placemats as the ideas came. He held several patents on his designs, including one for a radiator cap remover, which he later sold to Prestone through Union Carbide Corporation.

Miles devoted a great deal of time to the Lumberton United Methodist Church and to his community. At various times, he served as president of the Lumberton Rotary Club, President of the Board of the Lumberton Line Consolidated School, a Director of the Mississippi Economic Council, and a director of the Lumberton Citizens Hospital. He also served on the boards of the Lumberton State Bank, First Mississippi National Bank, as well as on the Board and Executive Committee of Southern Forest Products Association.

He is survived by his wife, the former Martha Taylor of Lumberton, five children, including Nan Miles Einhart of Pensacola, Florida, Duddy Miles and wife Debbie Miles of Poplarville, Johnny Miles of Bogalusa, Nicki Miles and his wife Bobbie Miles of Covington, and Joanna Miles-Basta and her husband Nick Basta of New York, New York, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Rebecca Manning Miles in 1969, as well as by his three siblings, Leroy E. Miles, Margaret Miles Montgomery and Cora Mae Miles Lane.

Visitation was Tuesday, October 17, 2006 in Lumberton United Methodist Church and the funeral service followed at the Lumberton Cemetery with the Reverend H. B. Miller and Reverend Van Moore presiding.