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franklin county times

Wife moves on after husband's death

By Staff
BALANCING LIFE Jinnell Fox Miller, left, wife of the late Rev. Charles J. Miller, balances her checkbook while her daughter, Stacey, looks over her shoulder. Miller said she had to learn how to balance her checkbook after her husband of 36 years died last year when a Lockheed Martin employee entered the Lauderdale County plant, killed six fellow workers, injured eight others and then took his own life. PHOTO BY KYLE CARTER / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
July 7, 2004
When Jinnell Fox Miller of Meridian talked about her late husband, her eyes lit up and a big smile washed over her face.
It was one year ago Thursday when the Rev. Charles J. Miller was killed in the Lockheed Martin shootings leaving his wife alone and on her own for the first time in 36 years.
And that's precisely what has happened. Jinnell has used the past year to embark on a new direction in her life and prepare for a new career all in an attempt to fill the void left by her husband's death.
Even though the past year has been hard on her and her four adult children, Jinnell said, she forced herself not to be bitter. Instead, she has decided to use her tragedy to help others.
Jinnell is attending Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus, pursuing a degree in social work. She wants to help people like Lockheed Martin employee Doug Williams the man who killed her husband.
Fatal shooting
Williams, a longtime Lockheed Martin employee, shot and killed six fellow workers and injured eight others the morning of July 8, 2003. Williams then turned the gun on himself and took his own life.
Most Lockheed Martin employees injured by Williams who engineered the worst workplace shootings in Mississippi history declined an interview. Many relatives of those killed also declined an interview.
Some relatives of those killed, however, did share a few prepared comments.
Beverly Burns Cockrell, whose husband, Samuel, was killed, moved to Albany, Ga., shortly after his death. She said in a phone interview that the past year has been harder than she imagined.
Tammie Fitzgerald, whose husband, Mickey, was killed, said he was a kind and loving man.
Miller speaks
Jinnell Miller spoke more at length.
In a two-hour interview at her house, Jinnell talked about her husband, what he did at work and how he contributed to the community as pastor of the First Tabernacle Church of God in Daleville.
Stacey Miller, one of Charles J. Miller's three daughters, teaches at Kate Griffin Junior High School. Stacey said she loves her father enough to let him go.
Even though she has struggled to recover, Stacey said, she has remained strong because she wanted to set a good example for her ninth-grade biology and science skills students.
Stacey said she was surprised when she wrote a dramatic skit that was performed by her students because she didn't realize she could tap that deep into her creative side.
Stacey and Jinnell said her family has added two children since Charlie's death including a cousin of Stacey's who was born in Atlanta the day her father was killed.

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