Steve Miller of Steve Miller Produce Co. a Thomasville, Ga.-based vegetable packer and shipper, died on Nov. 2 at a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital.

Georgia vegetable shipper diesThe passing of Miller, 64, also means the closing of the company, said Bill Mashburn, Steve Miller Produce’s manager.

None of his family was involved in the produce industry, and family plans to offer the company for sale, Mashburn said.

In 1978, Miller started the company on the Georgia State Farmers Market, selling bell peppers and cucumbers after working in sales for the Thomasville-based Ed Jackson Produce Co.

He entered the produce industry in high school by working in sales for a Whigham, Ga., pecan company, said his brother Bobby Miller.

“He was an asset to this part of the country,” Mashburn said. “He will be really missed. He impacted many lives.”

The company also sold smaller volumes of green beans, corn, squash and tomatoes and packed produce from facilities in Benton Harbor, Mich., and Immokalee, Fla.

“Personally, I would have liked to grow up just like Steve,” said Chuck Weisinger, president and chief executive officer of Weis-Buy Farms Inc., Fort Myers, Fla. “He was an innovator who made a great contribution to the produce business and will be greatly missed.”

Miller is survived by a former wife, a daughter, two brothers, a sister and three grandchildren.

The family is suggesting memorials be made in Miller’s memory to the American Heart Association at 1101 Northchase Parkway, Suite 1, Marietta, Ga., 30067. The funeral was Nov. 7