ESSEX, VT – Friends and family gathered in Essex on Wednesday to celebrate the life of Robert “Bobby” E. Miller, a community leader, philanthropist and a man who believed in giving back.
Miller died on Feb. 4 at the age of 84 at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Those who knew him met at the Robert E. Miller Expo Centre at Champlain Valley Fairgrounds to remember him as an inspiration who made a difference to many in the GreenMountain State.
“Bobby was a true hero,” said close friend and confidant Harlan Sylvester.
His niece, Jahala Dudley, said Miller was a dedicated family man. “My Uncle Bob will be known for his generosity to our causes and campaigns, his amusing giggle, and his admiration to his wife, my Aunt Holly,” she said.
Miller was born in Rutland with working-class roots. He worked his way to owning his own company, REM Developments, achieving the American dream.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher, mentor,and role model,” said his son, Tim Miller.
Miller and his company worked on projects all around Vermont. He and Holly Miller donated around $60 million to multiple causes.
“He grew up poor. He found a way on his own. It’s really a mystery how he summoned and had that internal strength to have the self-confidence to be the person that he lived all his life as,” said Congressman Peter Welch.
“But beyond the buildings I can say unequivocally that Bobbies private and quiet giving over the many years has helped dozens of families and individuals in need,” Said Sylvester.
Steven Leffler, president of the UVM Medical Center, said Miller was selfless right up until his death. “Those precious last moments should have been all about Bobby, but he made it about everyone else in the room. That was who he was,” said Leffler.