JACKSONVILLE - Joseph Payne Milton was born on Oct. 24, 1943, in Richmond, Va. He grew up in central Florida and attended Avon Park High School, where he was a three sport letterman. Joe was an avid and loyal fan of the University of Florida where he played baseball for the Gators and exhibited his well- known leadership in law school. After graduating from University of Florida's School of Law in 1969, Joe moved to Jacksonville and began his distinguished legal career as a trial lawyer. In 1990, he founded his law firm, Joseph P. Milton, P.A. The firm continues to grow and serve the community. Joe's hard work and dedication to his profession are highlighted by his many accomplishments and awards. In 2010 Joe was awarded the Medal of Honor award; the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a lawyer by legal profession in Florida. Joe was a loving father, grandfather, and husband. He enjoyed family and friends at his home in the mountains of Cashiers, N.C. In spite of a congenital heart condition, Joe lived life to the fullest and on his terms. After a tremendous battle and courageous fight, Joe's war with his heart condition ended peacefully during his sleep at his home in Jacksonville, on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. He is survived by his loving wife of 22 years, Cela Cabler Milton; his three adult children, Michael Payne Milton, Amy Milton Baker, David King Milton, their spouses and seven grandchildren, all of Jacksonville; sisters, Susan Milton Moreland of Okeechobee and Anne Milton Leslie of Ft. Myers; nephew, Steve Moreland; great-nephew, Zane Moreland, both of Okeechobee; and niece, Stephanie Moreland of Orlando. Joe requested Memorial donations be made to the ABOTA Foundation or The University of Florida School of Law. ABOTA Foundation, 2001 Bryan Street, Suite 3000, Dallas, TX 75201 or UF College of Law, P.O. Box 14412, Gainesville, FL 32604. The family held a visitation on Friday, Dec. 9, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, 4115 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville. Funeral services were held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, at the First Baptist Church, Ruth Lindsey Auditorium, 130 West Ashley St., Jacksonville. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home 4115 Hendricks Ave. Jacksonville, FL 32207. (904) 346-3808. www.hardage-giddenshendricksave.com
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Published in NewsZapFL on Jan. 27, 2012