Robert D. Miller, 95, Musician and Long Time Westfield Resident
Robert Douglas Miller, age 95, passed away on February 28, 2022.
Bob was born on May 10, 1926, to Susie and Albert Miller. He had two older siblings, Sarah,
and Frederick, and was joined two years later by his sister and lifelong best friend Ellen (Foster).
The family lived on Sinclair Place. Bob attended Franklin School, Roosevelt Junior High School,
and Westfield Senior High and continued the family's musical tradition by playing clarinet, flute,
In 1945 Bob's studies at Penn State were interrupted by World War II and he served in Europe in
the 3 rd Armored Division as an assistant tank driver. He remained stationed in Germany into
1946 playing saxophone with the Armed Services Band where he befriended a young singer
named Tony Bennett.
Upon returning home, Bob completed his studies at Penn State in 1949, earning a degree in
physics as a member of the Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity and playing in the Penn State Blue Band
marching band. After graduation, Bob worked in Philadelphia for two years as a physicist for
Atlantic Richfield Oil.
Music was Bob's true calling, however, and he moved back to Westfield to begin his music
career, focusing on jazz saxophone. He toured with several big bands, including Claude
Thornhill, Woody Herman, and Charlie Barnet. Bob also became a fixture in the New Jersey
jazz community, playing with the likes of Bill Evans, Phil Woods, Barry Miles, Rio Clemente,
Joan Murphy, Ken Lorenz, and Joe Verrusio. Bob was loved by his musical colleagues for his
lyrical alto saxophone, his genius as an arranger, and for his kind and gentle demeanor.
Bob was an active member of The Presbyterian Church in Westfield where he played flute, and
later attended the Grace Presbyterian Church.
He was a devoted and loving son, tending to his parents in their final years with great
compassion and tenderness. Bob never married, but was the World's Greatest Uncle to his five
nieces and nephews who lived across town: Cindi (Falck), David, Nanci (Carlson), Gregg, and
Larry Foster, and to his many great and great-great-nieces and nephews. Whenever Bob popped
by, fun and adventure were sure to follow. Bob is also survived by nephews Ted and Ralph
Miller (California) and Paul Miller (Montana).
In 2020, health issues and the pandemic compelled Bob to leave his beloved Westfield and move
to Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge. He was joined there in 2021 by his sister, Ellen.
Bob died in Christ on February 28 th after a brief illness. A memorial service was held at The
Presbyterian Church in Westfield on March 7 th followed by a burial service with military honors
at Fairview Cemetery.
Bob Miller was a gentle man of faith and music, and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.
Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors of Westfield. Please go to: www.grayfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences.