A true gentleman, Robert Gragg Miller, passed away on October 28, 2013 in Bellingham at age 91, surrounded by his large and loving family. He was born June 21, 1922 in Bellingham, WA to Edward H. and Frances Gragg Miller. "Bob" attended Campus School, Lowell, and Fairhaven, graduating from Bellingham High School in 1940. He began his college career at WWU, finishing his B.A. in Business from the University of Washington. Bob served in the U.S. Army during WWII, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant. In addition to his military duties, Bob travelled with a musical orchestra playing the piano to entertain the troops in various Army installations. Bob returned to Bellingham to take over the family business, Edward H. Miller and Co. with his brother John. By the late 1950's, Bob was working with the Federal and State governments as they acquired property for the new Interstate system (now I-5). This lead Bob to pursue the highest real estate appraisal designation, MAI - Member of Appraisal Institute and along with other Bellingham real estate brokers Bill Follis, Hal Arnason and brother John, pioneered the local real estate appraisal industry. They travelled around the Northwest appraising property, including in Montana and damage from the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Bob spent the rest of his sixty year career servicing commercial and residential clients throughout Whatcom County. On December 26, 1949, Bob married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Haggard. They were married 63 years before her passing in January, 2013. They raised three children and delighted in their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Bob was involved in Bellingham community activities and was known for his kind heart, ability to engage in conversation and sense of humor. As a result of his love of music, Bob could often be found playing the piano at home and for events around town. He held a variety of Board positions, including President, of the Bellingham Jaycee's, Bellingham Civic Music Association Member, Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, Rotary Club of Bellingham- receiving the Paul Harris Achievement Award twice, Totem Council of Camp Fire Girls, Multiple Listing Service and the Whatcom County Board of Realtors- receiving their Realtor Lifetime award in 1999. He was a great advocate for education and active supporter of WWU including two terms on the WWU Foundation and the Presidential search committee. He held memberships in the Bellingham Golf & Country Club, Bellingham Yacht Club, Clipper Club and the Washington Athletic Club. He was a long standing member of the First Church of Christ Scientist. Bob was preceded in death by his beloved wife Margaret; his parents, brother John Miller and sister Jean Somerville. He is survived by his son Gragg Miller (Betty) of Bellingham, daughter Norma Miller (Erik Christianson) of Seattle and Mary McCluskey (Ken) of Indianola, WA; six grandchildren Stephanie Leyson (Shelby), Stacey Turrell (Josh), Erin Harrison (Rich), Molly McCluskey, Per Miller and Hannah McCluskey; and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters-in-law Karleen Miller of Bellingham, Joan King and Marijune Haggard of Seattle, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins. In his retirement, Bob and Margaret travelled extensively and relaxed under the Palm Springs sun each winter. Bob led a very full life and enjoyed a close circle of lifelong friends. Donations in his memory are suggested to Western Washington University Foundation, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and Whatcom Hospice House. The Family would like to thank all the caregivers involved with Bob, especially Gretchen Herb. A family graveside service will be held. A Celebration of Bob's rich life will be held at the Bellingham Golf & Country Club at 2:00 PM on Monday, November 4. Please view photos of Bob's life and share memories with the family at www.westfordfuneralhome.com.
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Westford Funeral Home & Cremation
1301 Broadway Bellingham, WA 98225
Published in Bellingham Herald from Oct. 29 to Nov. 27, 2013