Robert K. Miller of Spokane, WA passed away April 9th at his home. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren, his brother and family friends.
Robert (Bob) attended Rogers High School where he took great pride in being a Pirate! During his high school years, he played football and baseball. He excelled at both but football was his heart. He played guard and was named first all-city team his junior and senior years. Bob was a true athlete and loved all sports but football and baseball were his passion. After high school, Bob attended Eastern Washington University. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1957. That same year he married his wife, Patricia. They were married for 60 years.
After graduating, he started his teaching career at Bancroft Elementary School in Spokane. Wanting a change, Bob and Patricia moved to Sacramento, California where he taught for several years. Spokane was always “home” for Bob and Pat and where they wanted to raise their family. Eventually, they moved back “home” where Bob continued his teaching career at Lewis and Clark High School. He coached a number of teams at L.C. having a large impact on the football program.
Not long after receiving his Masters in Education he became a Vice Principal at Lewis and Clark. He is remembered for bringing people together and for being fair. Bob cherished his years at L.C. He became as much a Tiger as he was a Pirate. Those two loyalties would remain with him his entire life.
After his tenure at L.C., Bob moved on to become Principal of Pullman High School. After 8 years there, he and Pat sought a new adventure. They moved to Barrow Alaska where he was employed by the North Slope Borough School District. After teaching his first year there he quickly became Principal the following year. During his time in Alaska he was also Principal of Nuiqsut and Togiak schools.
In 1996, after 39 years in education, Bob retired and he and Pat returned home to Spokane. That Fall, as the new school year was beginning, he remarked with a sigh that this would be the first time in 39 years he wouldn’t be at the school doors to greet his students.
Bob was born to be an educator. It wasn’t a career, it was his vocation. He was a true leader. He had a gift for bringing people together. He treated every single person he encountered with respect. He was loyal and committed to his family and friends and always put others before himself.
His approach to life can be summed up in words he spoke to the students of Togiak: “Always strive to do the best you can—be the best you can be. Even when things don’t turn out the way you wish they would, there are lessons to be learned. Keep on trying, have faith in yourselves, and your abilities. Remember, if you think you can, you will.”
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