Robert W. Miller, age 85, died at home Sunday, February 7, 2010, following an extended decline in health.

Born to W. Dwight and Reda Miller on September 20, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, Bob graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School and then entered the U.S. Navy at the height of World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater as a Radarman 1st Class aboard the U.S.S. Wesson, Destroyer Escort 184, from 1943 until the end of the war. His ship participated in many Pacific battles. On April 7, 1945, the Wesson was hit by a Japanese suicide plane. Eight crew members died and the ship was heavily damaged.

While the Wesson was in San Francisco for repairs, Bob returned to Brooklyn and married his high school sweetheart, Grace M. Bodine, on May 25, 1945. Their marriage lasted over 64 years until Grace's death in July 2009.

Bob and Grace moved to Ithaca following the war where Bob first worked at Morse Chain. In 1949 he began his 40 year employment with Therm, Inc. starting as a toolmaker and retiring in 1989 as Vice President, Quality. A charter member of the Ithaca Industrial Management Club, Bob was its president in 1962. He also was a board member of the Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross and a frequent blood donor. In recent years he was active with the Ithaca noon Rotary Club. Bob was a faithful member of Tabernacle Baptist Church for over 50 years, serving at different times as Sunday School Superintendent and Deacon.

In their retirement, Bob and Grace traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, taking several extended trips in their motor home, "Champ." They also enjoyed many relaxing summers at their camp in Speculator, NY. The past 20 years they attended many Wesson crew reunions. Bob was an avid photographer capturing much family history and many travels with his camera.
Bob is survived by three sons, Daniel (Elaine) of Rome, NY, Timothy (Bonnie) of Laurel, MD, and Peter of Ithaca; six grandchildren, Joanna (Robert) Price, Elizabeth (Joseph) Sliwa, Samuel (Katalin) Miller, Ryan Miller, Jeffrey Miller, and Kelly Miller; six great grandchildren, his loving sister-in-law Marian Evington of Dryden and many beloved nieces and nephews.

The family expresses heartfelt gratitude to the home health aides and nurses of Caregivers and Classen Home Health Associates for their professional and compassionate care. We are also grateful for the many years of excellent care given to both our parents by Dr. Mary Howson.

Friends and family may call Wednesday, February 10, 2010, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Herson Funeral Home and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. until time of the 11:00 a.m. funeral service at Tabernacle Baptist Church, Ithaca. Burial will be in the spring at South Hill Cemetery. If desired, memorials may be made to Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1019 N. Cayuga St, Ithaca or to the Destroyer Escort Historical Foundation, USS Slater DE - 766, P.O. Box 1926, Albany, NY 12201.