Robert G. Milliken 1921 - 2011 Under the gentle care and compassion of Hospice Partners of the Central Coast, Bob passed peacefully from this life unto God's Hands on March 13, 2011, from heart failure, with his loving wife and niece beside him. Born to Charles and Hazel Milliken in Denver, CO, Bob with his happy disposition and playful sense of humor was a joyful addition to the family. Along with brother Don he played baseball all summer and ice skated all winter on the park's lake. After high school Bob enrolled at Denver University and took flying lessons in his spare time. WWII had begun when he transferred the following year to the University of Northern Colorado and enlisted in the united Stated Air Force to await his call to active duty. There at UNC he met Yvonne and the two became engaged before he was called. Bob was still in flight training when they married at a small church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, when Bob received a three day pass over the Christmas holiday. Sent to the South Pacific to join the 4th Fighter Squadron of the 3rd Air Commando Group, Bob survived two fiery crashes of cargo planes and flew 104 missions over the South Pacific in his P-51 Mustang. Although discharged from active duty, he remained in the active reserves of the United States Air Force. Later, in this capacity, he served as liaison officer to the Air Force Academy, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Home from his final assignment in Japan, he returned to college, and the couple received their baccalaureate degrees together. Although trained as secondary teachers, both accepted positions as elementary teachers in the small town of McFarland, California. Experiences with students and friends gained during those first few years became treasured memories. Later after moving to Bakersfield, during his 30 year career in the Kern High School District, Bob served as teacher, counselor, assistant principal and principal, finally retiring from Highland High School. This was followed by four years as a college counselor at Graces high School in Bakersfield. In the late 70's the couple discovered Cambria, they purchased a small home and soon began a remodeling project. Upon Yvonne's retirement they moved to Cambria permantely to enjoy the sea and the pines and the many new friends they acquired. Bob was an avid golfer, a fisherman, a wood carver, or as he called himself, a "whittler". He was, in fact, a master wood worker who built beautiful furniture for his home. One of his many pleasures was skeet shooting and target practice with friends at a local ranch. He was an enthusiastic member of the Round Table, which he truly enjoyed, and of the Cambria Lions Club where he served for many years at the annual Pine Dorado. Bob was a tender loving husband, a wonderful, understanding father, a generous uncle and thoughtful, loyal friend who will be sorely missed. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Yvonne; two nieces, Lynne Milliken of Evergreen Colorado; Lisa Higby of Payette, Idaho and nephew, Ross Milliken of Ft. Collins, Colorado. Bob was preceded in death by son, Kevin and brother, Donald. A memorial mass will be celebrated on March 30th at 11:00a.m. at Santa Rosa Church in Cambria. A reception will follow. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published by Bakersfield Californian on Mar. 23, 2011.