Robert W. Miller, 69, of Washington, passed away on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Robbie was born on July 18, 1950, to Billie Ruth (nee Strobel) and the late Wesley A. Miller in Washington and was married to Peggy VanLeer on October 4, 1969, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Union. Robbie had a gregarious and mischievous spirit and was always good for a story, a hug, or a good-natured ribbing. During high school, he enjoyed working at Modern Auto and Otto Funeral Home and became an Eagle Scout and earned the esteemed God and Country Award. He found that the work at the funeral home suited him well, and he became part of the first class to graduate from the Funeral Service Program at Forest Park Community College. As a newly licensed embalmer and funeral director, Robbie went to work at Lichtenberg’s Colonial Chapel in Washington, living upstairs with his wife Peggy. After a few years, he transitioned to over the road trucking. He loved seeing the country from the cab and meeting interesting people along the way first with Phillips Transit and later with Kellwood. During the mid-1970s, he returned to his original career as a funeral director and embalmer at Cedar Valley Memorial Chapel. He purchased the funeral home in 1988, changed the name to Miller Funeral Home, and was proud to open a new building on Jefferson street in 1998, that was designed specifically to meet the special requirements of the families he served. During the 1993 flood he volunteered to assist with the Missouri Funeral Director’s Association Disaster Response Team to recover, identify, and re-inter remains that were displaced due to the flood in Hardin, Missouri. Afterwards, he joined FEMA’s DMORT, Region 7 team and trained for response to disaster and mass casualty events. He was originally deployed to New York following September 11, 2001, but their deployment was later recalled. During this time, he also served on Washington’s Planning and Zoning Board, on many committees and projects with the Washington Rotary Club, as Exalted Ruler of the Washington Elks Lodge and a member of the Lodge’s competitive ritual team, was a member of the Washington Boat Club, Hummingbird Club, VFW Post 2661 Auxiliary, Masonic Lodge 251, and Sons of the American Legion. He was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ and served for many years on the cemetery board. Robbie retired in 2017 after a long career serving families and his community and over the last few years, he loved the extra time he had with his grandchildren, at Mark Twain Lake, and working in his shed with Cody, his dog.
A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at 10:30 am at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Interment will follow at the Church cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 until 8 pm on Tuesday, August 6, at Nieburg-Vitt, Miller Funeral Home, 1206 Jefferson St., Washington, Missouri 63090. Robbie was diagnosed at the age of 5 with type 1 juvenile diabetes, in his memory, his family would appreciate any donations to go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Robbie is survived by his wife, Peggy L. Miller of Washington; his mother, Billie Ruth Miller of Washington; two daughters, Amy Sanchez and husband Roman of Davie, Florida and Julie Cowsert and husband Jeremy of Washington; one brother, Bill Miller and wife Kathy of Washington; seven grandchildren, Kelsie, Liana, Lynsie, Morgan, Alex, Macie, and Reis; two sisters-in-law, Judy Rivara and husband Dominick and Patsy Klenke and husband Allen, all of Union; the members of the Rothschild Breakfast Club; his dog, Cody; other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his father, Wesley A. Miller.