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Retired CVM Professor
Robert “Bob” Miller Passes Away

Dr. Robert Bruce “Bob” Miller

Dr. Robert Bruce “Bob” Miller of Columbia, Missouri, a retired veterinarian and University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine faculty member, passed away at his home on Tuesday, Oct. 4. He was 85 years old.

He was born on March 17, 1931, in rural Eureka, Kansas, where he lived with his parents and brothers on their farm. He rode his horse to grade school and, against his parents’ wishes and without their knowledge, hitchhiked to a nearby airfield where he earned his pilot’s license. He attended Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas, and then transferred to Kansas State University in Manhattan, where he earned his undergraduate degree and a doctorate in veterinary medicine. He was a member of the Acacia Fraternity, served in the Missouri National Guard, and was a member of the Missouri United Methodist Church, where he had many valued friendships.

In his early professional life, Dr. Miller and his family lived in Warrensburg, Missouri, where he was co-owner of the B&B Animal Hospital for nearly 20 years. In 1973, he accepted an appointment at the University of Missouri and earned a master’s degree in veterinary pathology and a PhD in pathology. He had an extensive body of research and published works, lectured throughout the world, and received tenure in 1980. He retired from full-time work in 1999, but remained active in furthering the advancement of veterinary medicine at the university and through national and international organizations.

Countless veterinarians across the country and world were taught and influenced by Dr. Miller during his more than three decades at the CVM and through his continuing education efforts. Veterinary clients across mid-Missouri depended on his keen diagnostic skills and his quiet understanding and connection to the animals he treated. He was awarded the prestigious Veterinarian of the Year Award in 2012 by the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.

 “Veterinary medicine has allowed a Kansas farm boy to travel widely and to daily meet wonderful people from all walks of life,” he once wrote.

He was active in more than 15 professional organizations, including serving as president of the Western Veterinary Conference, director of the Missouri Cattle Institute, diplomate emeritus and president of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, district director of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, and an honorary member of the Missouri Academy of Veterinary Practice. He was called a “leader in his field demonstrating dedication to veterinary medicine and continuing education” by Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine when he was honored with the Alumni Recognition Award in 2004.

Dr. Miller is survived by his wife of 60 years, Dr. Phyllis A. Miller; daughter Deborah M. Clark and son-in-law Stephen E. Clark, of Anchorage, Alaska; son Raymond R. Miller and daughter-in-law Deanne R. Crewse of Cairo, Egypt; daughter Karen M. Pensiero and son-in-law F. James Pensiero of Verona, New Jersey; and grandchildren Gina N. Pensiero and her wife, Anika Pensiero, Madeline R. Pensiero, and Samuel J. Pensiero.

A celebration of Dr. Miller’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at the Missouri United Methodist Church at 204 S. 9th St., Columbia, Missouri. The family suggests donations to the Missouri United Methodist Church Elevator fund, which may be sent to the church, or to the Bob Miller Food-Animal Proficiency Award, c/o the Office of Advancement, W210 Veterinary Medicine Building, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, 65211.

Condolences may be left online for the family at

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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Last Update: October 4, 2016