Robert I. Miller

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Robert I. Miller

Rev. Robert I. Miller
Born October 29, 1921
Buffalo, NY
Died March 27, 2009
Duarte, CA
Nationality American
Alma mater Hamilton College
Home town Englewood, NJ
Known for Mayor of Englewood
Religious beliefs Presbyterian
Spouse(s) Barbara Ann Thompson

Robert Irving Miller, [1] was a Presbyterian minister and retired nursing home director, was born on October 29, 1921, in Buffalo, NY. His parents were Edward J. Miller, Jr., a sales representative, and the former Agnes Elizabeth Elliott. "Bob" Miller grew up in the Buffalo area and was graduated in 1939 from Kenmore High School. He enrolled at Hamilton College in the fall of 1942, but left after a semester to go on active duty with the U.S. Army. He served with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy and earned the Bronze Star along with two battle stars. Released from the Army as a staff sergeant following World War II's end in 1945, he returned to the Hill in the spring of 1946. A member of ELS, he again withdrew after a semester and transferred to the University of Buffalo, where he acquired his B.A. degree, majoring in sociology, in 1948.

Bob Miller went on to Union Theological Seminary and obtained a B.D. in 1951. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church that year, he did education and youth work for eight years as associate pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Englewood, NJ (1951-55) and minister to youth at Winnetka Congregational Church in Winnetka, IL (1955-59). Thereafter he returned to Union Theological Seminary in New York City as assistant to the president and director of alumni affairs. He continued in that post, engaged in alumni and developmental work, until 1975.

While residing in Englewood, NJ, the Rev. Robert I. Miller served a two-year term (1968-69) [2] as mayor of that city for the munificent salary of $100 a year. He was elected as a Democrat by a majority of 93 votes. When he ran for reelection on his record, as he later wryly commented, he lost. After leaving Union, he moved to Cleveland, OH, where he became associate pastor for mission and education at the Fairmont Presbyterian Church (1975-77) and director of congregational enablement for the Greater Cleveland Interchurch Council (1978-79). Appointed executive director of the Eliza Bryant Center, a nursing home in Cleveland, in 1979, he retired from that position in 1986. That year, he joined the Cleveland affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, on whose international board he would serve, along with the former president, Jimmy Carter, for 11 years.

In 1992, Bob Miller relocated to a retirement community in Duarte, CA, near Pasadena, where he continued his lifelong activities on behalf of causes promoting social and economic justice, even participating as a picketer in a union workers' strike at the University of Southern California. Among his many organizational involvements were memberships on the board of the Community Nonviolence Rescue Center and Clergy and Laity United for Social Justice (CLUE). A faithful Hamilton alumnus despite his brief sojourn on the Hill, he gave the sermon at the Service of Remembrance on Reunion Weekend in 1996.

The Rev. Robert I. Miller was still residing in Duarte when he died on March 27, 2009, as verified by Social Security records. Presumed survivors include his wife, the former Barbara Ann Thompson, whom he had married in 1945, and three children, Deborah, Eric, and Cynthia. His older son, Christopher, predeceased him in 1974.

References

  1. Staff Writer. "Alumni Necrology". Robert I Miller. Hamilton College. http://www.hamilton.edu/magazine/winter09/departments/necrology/1940s. 
  2. Staff Writer. "1979 City of Englewood Centennial". Program. City of Englewood.