As a loving husband, father, son and brother, he is survived by his wife, son Kenneth Matthew Miller of Alexandria, VA and sister Betty Miller Greenhill (Mooresville, NC).
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers; Kenneth West Miller and James Eugene Miller.
Bob Miller was a graduate of North Carolina State University (B.S., agriculture, 1956; Ph.D., dairy cattle genetics, 1962) and Michigan State University (M.S., dairy science, 1958).
In 1979, after ARS reorganization, Miller became the research leader of the Milk Secretion and Mastitis Laboratory and remained in that position for 23 years until his retirement.
Early in Bob’s ARS career, he devised a new genetic experimental design for estimation o f non-additive genetic variation in animals. He also conducted extensive research on methods to increase the accuracy of genetic evaluations of dairy bulls and developed the formulation and implementation for the first national dairy cow evaluations. He conducted a series of studies to quantify milk yield inpact from increased milk somatic cell count and bacterial infection as well as a series of studies to determine whether mastitis defense mechanisms were inherited.
More than anyone else, Bob was responsible for initiating the dairy genomic research at Beltsville. He led a team that found several genetic markers that were associated with mastitis resistance. His research on mastitis also included an investigation of the effect of intra-mammary devices on milk yield and a quantification of the role of teat canal keratin in mastitis defense. His later research focused on trends in death losses and abortion frequency of dairy cows.
Miller’s sustained research productivity is documented in 131 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 20 conference-proceeding papers, 19 Federal Government technical reports and 142 scientific abstracts. The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) has plans to induct him into the 100 Club later this month for authorship of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Dairy Science.
Bob was a member of the ADSA, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Genetic Association and served on the research committee of the National Mastitis Council.
He was consulted by animal scientists worldwide for research planning, analysis, and data interpretation. He also fostered an active cooperative research program with the Department of Animal Science at the University of Maryland.
After retiring from ARS in 1995, Miller continued to contribute to dairy science research as a volunteer at the Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory in Beltsville, MD.
His memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County on June 18, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his name to www.savethechildren.org.