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J. Robert (Bob) Miller

by Susan J. Ainsworth
January 6, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 1

J. Robert (Bob) Miller, 91, chemistry professor emeritus at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., died on July 26, 2013.

Born and raised in Red Oak, Iowa, Miller earned a B.S. in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1943. He joined Parke-Davis Laboratories in Detroit, working for four years to aid in the development of penicillin. Subsequently, he received a Ph.D. in organic biochemistry at Syracuse University in 1950.

Miller then joined Hartwick College as a chemistry professor, remaining in that role until his retirement in 1984.

An expert in bird biology, he helped the college acquire Pine Lake Environmental Center and created and taught innovative field bird courses. Miller was an emeritus member of ACS, who joined in 1944.

Miller and his wife, Jean, traveled, camped, shared their passion for nature with their children, and studied and published articles on birds. Later in life, they led bird-watching tours worldwide. Miller helped found the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society chapter in 1968.

He is survived by three sons, T. Robert, David, and Stephen, and a daughter, Sarah Root. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years in 2010; son James in 1960; and daughter Susan in 2011.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.


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