A longtime and beloved former The Advocate & Democrat employee has died at age 77 after a long illness.

For many years, Juanita Best supervised the newspaper’s mailroom operations under former Circulation Manager David Smith. Best had the important job of making sure all the inserts were put in the newspaper and helped Smith make sure subscribers and stores got their newspapers.

“One of my best experiences working at The Advocate & Democrat was getting to know Juanita,” General Manager and Editor Tommy Millsaps said. “She loved working at the newspaper and though she had a tough job, she was always smiling. I don’t think I ever saw Juanita in a bad mood.”

Best loved talking about local politics and anything in the news in general. She was a good friend to everyone at the newspaper. She courageously battled illness for years but never let it get her down.

Even after Best retired from the paper, she would still stop by and talk to her friends at The Advocate & Democrat before she became too sick to visit.

“Juanita will be missed by everyone at the newspaper,” Millsaps said.

See full obituary on page A2 of today’s paper.

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