Robert “Bob” Miller, 73


Robert “Bob” Miller, 73, of Thief River Falls, MN died peacefully on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at Greenleaf Assisted Living in Thief River Falls, MN with his loving family at his side following a courageous and lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease.


Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, June 13, 2016 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, MN with Father Rick Lambert presiding. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls, MN.


Visitation will be held from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM with a 5:00 PM prayer service on Sunday, June 12, 2016 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be held from 9:30 AM until 10:30 AM on Monday at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.


Robert Ervin Miller was born on March 8, 1943 in Mahnomen, MN the son of Ervin and Florence (Voit) Miller. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Beaulieu, MN. He attended country school and graduated from Mahnomen High School in 1961. While in high school, on a $1 bet at the Mahnomen County Fair, Bob met his best friend and love of his life, Phyllis McCollum. Following graduation he went to work at the Grand Forks Air Force Base and he and Phyllis wrote daily letters to each other.


On August 3, 1963, Bob and Phyllis were united in marriage at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Beaulieu, MN. To this union 7 loving and caring children were born, Darcy, Diane, Dawn, Darrel, Dana, Darla and Danita.


Bob and Phyllis first lived at Waubun, MN where Bob worked at Wilcox Lumber Yard. On April 1, 1964, Bob started working as a 2nd man at Farmers Co-op Elevator in Mahnomen, MN and on August 3, 1964, the family moved to Mahnomen and lived there until February of 1969. They moved to St. Hilaire, MN where Bob was asked to manage the St. Hilaire Co-op Elevator which he did until retiring in 1997. He was very devoted to the farmers, truckers and employees, and could very rarely say “no” to anyone. Bob did everything he could to help others.


After retirement, Bob and Phyllis spent their winters in Palm Desert, CA which was their paradise! Their children, relatives, and friends came to visit any chance they could. His hobbies when able were golfing, hunting, fishing, and most importantly he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, MN. At 60 years old, Bob was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; at 67, he was admitted to his first of five memory care units and has resided at Greenleaf Assisted Living since December 2011.


Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Phyllis of Thief River Falls, MN; 7 children, Darcy (Brad) Nelson of Lakeville, MN, Diane (Jim) Retka of Thief River Falls, MN, Dawn (Brad) Woodward of Warroad, MN, Darrel (Julie) Miller of Cummings, ND, Dana (Loren) Haagenson of Moorhead, MN, Darla (Ross Hegge) Prickett of Thief River Falls, MN and Danita (Brett) Torkelson of St. Hilaire, MN; 20 grandchildren, Tim (Christine), Travis (Ashlee), Brady, Carsen, Erin, Stephanie (Blake), Zach (Paige), Josh, Derek (Melissa), Ryan, Kelsey, Gannon (Mariah), Colton, Tatum, Emily, Alyssa, Elizabeth, Brea, Carli and Kora; 9 great-grandchildren, Ethan, Keira, Lane, Baby boy coming in June, Emma, Evie, Shea, Sophia, Mason; God-children, Laurie Semanko, Jessie McCollum, Riley Semanko, Kathy Boomgaarden, Stacey LaMont, Todd Miller, Zach Larson and Joe Miller; siblings, Joyce (Donald) Klinkhammer of Waubun, MN, George (Delores) Miller of Mahnomen, Rick (Dyane) Miller of Fertile, MN, Linda (Doug) Hand of Fosston, MN, Nancy (Doug) Nelson of Ramsey, MN, Phyllis (Mike) Inwards of Vergas, MN, Dan (Gayla) Miller of Mentor, MN, Gayle Halvorson of Tennessee; brothers and sisters-in-law, Cynthia McCollum of Fertile, MN, Ordell (Doris) McCollum of Detroit Lakes, MN, Marilyn (Dave) Natwick of Winger, MN, Terry (Theresa) McCollum of Bejou, MN, and Laurie (Mike) Semanko of Fargo, ND; and many other relatives and friends.


At the Pearly Gates of Heaven anxiously waiting with a huge smile was his grandson, Blake Torkelson. Also welcoming Bob were his parents; mother and father-in-law, Loran and Mary McCollum; brother-in-law, Dennis McCollum; great-grandson, Bryce Erickson; and many aunts and uncles.


Thank you to the staff at Greenleaf Assisted Living & Hospice for their loving and compassionate care.


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