John H. Miller Jr., a former Charleston city councilman and Kanawha County magistrate who once asked parents, “It’s now 10 p.m.; Do you know where your children are?”, died Sunday at Hubbard Hospice House, in Charleston. He was 80.
Miller was first elected to Charleston City Council in 2003. He continued to serve representing part of Kanawha City until 2017 when he resigned for health reasons.
He served under then-Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, who described Miller as a friend and a really good guy.
“He was a good councilmember,” Jones said Tuesday evening. “John and I first got to be friends in 1984 when I ran for sheriff and he ran for the House of Delegates.
“He was very strong in his ward. He was a strong ally.”
Jones said Miller loved his family and was proud of his daughter, Johna.
Miller became a local television star in 2006, when he began appearing in nightly public service announcements on WCHS-TV. After children in his district began dodging the city’s 10 p.m. curfew, Miller took to the airwaves to greet viewers with the phrase.
“A lot of parents don’t know where their kids are late at night and it’s very unfortunate,” Miller told the Charleston Daily Mail in 2006. “Hopefully, in some way, this will help.”
The line used by Miller was similar to one used by the station in the early 1990s prior to its 11 p.m. newscast. In the 2006 interview, Miller said many of his constituents, and others in the community, had praised his effort to keep children safe.
“People have called me just to say how much they really like it,” Miller said. “I walk downtown and people start saying, ‘It’s now 10 p.m. and I know where my children are.’”
Miller said he hoped parents would follow his message.
“It’s just five seconds long, but it really makes people think,” he said. “It’s got a good message that I think is relevant in today’s society.”
In addition to his time on city council, Miller spent three decades as a teacher at St. Albans High School, where he taught anatomy and biology, and held multiple positions within the state Division of Highways. He also served on the KRT board of directors.
Born July 5, 1939 in Charleston, Miller was the son of the late John Henry Miller Sr. and Mary Hardman Miller. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, in Charleston.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Cunningham-Parker-Johnson Funeral Home, in Charleston. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in John’s honor to the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, HospiceCare, 1606 Kanawha Blvd W. Charleston, WV 25387.