Dr. Robert L. Miller, age 88 of Fallbrook, Calif. passed away on Feb. 2, 2013 in Reno, Nevada, at the base of his beloved Sierra Nevada Mountains following a brief illness. He was born in Pasadena, Calif. on Oct. 10, 1924, the eldest son of Melber and Josephine Miller; he was raised on a poultry ranch in Arcadia, Calif. He graduated from Monrovia Arcadia Duarte high School and attended both Whittier and La Verne colleges.
He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1947, receiving a veterinary medical doctor degree. He married his Pennsylvania sweetheart Saranda, in 1946. They moved to California where he practiced veterinary medicine in both Fullerton and Anaheim before moving to Fallbrook in 1948. He was Fallbrook’s first veterinarian and built the Fallbrook Veterinary Hospital, where he treated both large and small animals and provided mobile veterinary service.
He was a past member of the Fallbrook Lions Club and served as president. He was a founding member of the San Diego County Veterinary Medical Association and served as its president in 1964. He held a distinguished life membership in this organization.
Bob devoted much of his time to the youth of the Fallbrook and Bonsall area. He served as scoutmaster for Fallbrook Troop 737, and Bonsall Troop 700. An Eagle Scout himself he guided 12 boys in Troop 700 to the rank of Eagle Scout. His two brothers were also Eagle Scouts as well as his son, nephew and grandson. Bob loved hiking and fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and took his scout troop on extended back packing trips in the John Muir Wilderness including an overnight stay on the peak of Mt. Whitney!
In 1976, Bob was awarded one of scouting’s highest honors, the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to youth by the San Diego Boy Scout Council. He was an honorary member of Fallbrook’s 4-H and FFA clubs and chapters. In 1957, the Fallbrook Chapter of Future Farmers of America bestowed upon him the Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree. He was one of the founding members of the Fallbrook Ag Boosters Club. In 1980, he received the National Honorary Service Award from the Fallbrook High School PTA for making outstanding efforts to work with youth.
He was a life member of the California Veterinary Association and Gold Honor Roll member of the American Veterinary Association and a past member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. After 38 years, he retired from his veterinary practice in 1984. He maintained his state veterinary license until age 80; as he thought the continuing education was stimulating for his brain!
After his retirement, Bob and Saranda enjoyed traveling in their RV visiting 44 states and Canada. They also made trips to Mexico, Honduras and Europe, enjoying cruising and many trips to Pennsylvania to visit family.
He was a Master Mason of Fallbrook Lodge 317 and recipient of the Lodge’s Hiram Award. A 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Noble of the Al Bahr Shriners, he served as past president of the San Luis Rey Shrine Club.
A rancher and farmer at heart he continued to maintain a small garden and loved his roses. Bob enjoyed tending the rose garden at the Fallbrook United Methodist Church as well as the fellowship it provided. Never one to sit still, he was also a member of the Fallbrook Woodcarvers Club and helped teach Wounded Warriors to carve at the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital.
He is survived by his wife of over 66 years, Saranda Miller and their three children, Mellouise Curry (Michael), Kathy Wilson (Rich) and Robert L. Miller, Jr. (Jeannie); five grandchildren, Michelle Poquette (Dustin), Matt Curry (Megan), Chad Drew (Nichol), Tyson Drew and Kelly Rimbey (Tyler); as well as four great-grandchildren, Michael Poquette, Ethan Robert Poquette, Austin Drew, and Adysen Rimbey.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 at the Fallbrook United Methodist Church, 1844 Winter Haven Rd., with a reception to follow after gravesite services at the Fallbrook Masonic Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fallbrook Ag Boosters at PO Box 2913, Fallbrook, CA 92088.