Robert William (“Bob”) Miller, Sr., 93, of Carrollton, TX, passed away peacefully on October 8, 2022 after a short illness.
Born on October 18, 1928 in Detroit, MI, the son of Sadie Mary (Foster) Miller and Stanley John Miller, Bob was also the husband of Ann Carolyn (Cornell) Miller, his beloved wife, with whom he shared 67 years of marriage before Ann’s passing on 9-1-21.
Bob grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, MI, spending most of his formative years in Farmington, MI. He was a highly talented student, earning academic honors at Farmington High School while also performing in choir, musical stage productions, and the marching band. Moreover, he also excelled in athletics, earning “All-League” honors in basketball, football (quarterback), and baseball (catcher) in his senior year, as well as being inducted into the state of Michigan “Prep Hall of Fame”. Upon his high school graduation, Bob enrolled in Michigan State College (soon to be known as Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI). He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1951 and joined the Air Force soon thereafter.
While serving in the Air Force, 1st Lt. Miller logged over 900 flight hours in the cockpit of a B-25/B-29 Fortress Bomber. His call sign was “Little Moose” to honor his relationship with his big brother, “Big Moose”, who was also in the Air Force. When he was not up in the cockpit, he was the designated base Athletic Director, organizing athletic events for the men, securing athletic equipment from vendors, arranging teams, and competitions to ensure that morale was strong. He continued to keep in touch with his Air Force teammates by attending reunions and nurturing his life-long friendships with them into his early 90’s.
During his early years in the Air Force, he met Ann and they married on May 13, 1954 in Ann’s hometown church. After a honeymoon, the newlyweds made their home in England where Bob was stationed. When Ann became pregnant with their first child, they toured Europe, and Bob completed his Air Force commitment. Afterwards, Bob accepted a job with Ford Motor Company and they moved to Livonia MI. He worked in the Purchasing Department in Dearborn, MI for 31 years, where he became a specialist in seat belts and passive restraints (air bag systems).
During their time in Livonia, Bob and Ann were blessed when Robin, Wendy, Karen and Robert were born into their family. Fond memories include watching him play summer-league softball (and being treated to post-game ice cream cones – including all the neighborhood kids who tagged along!), tobogganing outings over Christmas break, and fishing trips up to “the Bush” in Canada with the family “elders” (a long-standing tradition). Yearly vacations to Sarasota, FL and Higgins Lake, MI in addition to joyous Christmases were looked forward to year-round by all.
Bob and Ann were members of his boyhood church, the First United Methodist Church of Farmington, where they also raised their children. As a child, he was a member of the church’s children’s choir and he continued to sing bass in church choirs throughout his life. The Millers served on the first Detroit-area Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors, ensuring that families had a place to stay when a child needed to be hospitalized.
In 1987, Bob and Ann retired to Salem, SC were they enjoyed hosting many gatherings of family members and friends at their lake-community home. Bob especially enjoyed serving as the captain of a “flote-boat” (pontoon boat), taking guests to visit local waterfalls and places to swim. The Millers’ retirement years were also filled with many community service commitments to support the local county hospital, LIONS club, and animal rescue groups. Amazingly, Bob was a volunteer firefighter for more than ten years, from his arrival in Salem until his 70’s. At the holiday season he’d be found ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. He also sang in a barbershop quartet, including during performances of the musical “The Music Man” on the Clemson University stage. The couple traveled across the globe in addition to enjoying bridge, and golf, and they were devout Clemson sports fans – Go Tigers! They also traveled frequently to attend concerts, athletic performances and other milestone events in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
Those left to cherish Bob’s memories are his children, including daughters Robin [Rich] Young of Gainesville, VA; Karen [Rick] Blevins of Flower Mound, TX; his son, Robert W. Miller, Jr. of Lewisville, TX; and son-in-law, Edward Rizzuto of Gueydan, LA. The couple shared four grandchildren: Lauren [Paul] Ledoux; Thomas [Sarah] Rizzuto; Matthew Young, and Meagan [Matt] Ball. Their seven great-grandchildren include Elise, Noah, and Ethan Ledoux; Emma, Ryan, and Cooper Ball; and Lincoln Rizzuto. In addition to his wife, Bob was preceded in death by his beloved daughter, Wendy [Edward] Rizzuto; his parents; and brother, Richard (“Dick”) Miller;
Bob Miller was a kind, fun-loving, generous man of God who was a wonderful son, brother, father, grandpa, and great-grandpa. He will be greatly missed until the family is reunited in Heaven.
A memorial service for Bob and Ann was held on Friday, April 7th, 2023, in Sarasota, FL. At that time, their created remains were spread on the waters of Sarasota Bay, per their request. Those wishing to honor Bob’s life with a memorial are asked to make a donation to the Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, P.O. Box 567, Kanab, Utah, 84741-0567 (support.bestfriends.org; phone: 435-644-2001).
Condolences for the family on the passing of both Robert W. (“Bob”) Miller, Sr., and Ann Carolyn (Cornell) Miller may be offered at www.lonestarcremation.com. Ann’s obituary is posted here (https://www.lonestarcremation.com/ann-c-miller/).
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