Friends and family gather at Expo to remember Bobby Miller

ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) One of Vermont's most prominent entrepreneurs and philanthropists, Bobby Miller, was remembered Wednesday. The WCAX Super Senior died last week at the age of 84.

With the words of "Let the Life I've Lived" ringing out throughout the Robert E. Miller building at the Champlain Valley Expo, the coffin carrying the man himself was escorted through rows of hundreds of Vermonters who came to pay their respects.

Miller may have grown up poor in Rutland, but at the end of his life, the 84-year-old was rich with not just money, but friends and family.

Just about everyone has a story to tell about Miller -- a loving father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and a tough boss.

"He was very much my father. He was Bob Miller until he wasn't," said Stephanie Miller Taylor.

"You were a son of a bitch to work for some days, but I could not have asked for a better teacher, mentor, role model," said Miller's son, Tim.

The family gave a shout-out to Channel 3's Super Senior series. Miller was one of our first six years ago. "I'm a common man, I haven''t changed," he told our Joe Carroll back then.

He took Carroll out in his favorite red Mercedes to tour his real estate empire, saying he was honored to be able to give generously back to the community. "It''s the greatest pleasure one can have if you do it," he said.

"Bobby liked to help people. Period," said Harlan Sylvester, a close friend.

Many of the stories were about how Miller and his wife, Holly, had touched peoples' lives. The Millers gave away about $60 million. Some of it donated to The UVM Medical Center wing or Champlain College, where buildings bear their name. Some of it to individuals, where those on the receiving end of a check and a handshake, were the only ones to know.

"No press, no fanfare, no slaps on the back," said said Tom Torti with the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce. "He didn't need it."

The ceremony's final words were from the love of his life, Holly, who read from a letter she'd written to her husband for their 22nd anniversary.

"I've always been proud of the man you are," Holly said. "You are my rock, always by my side. I can't imagine what my life would be without you."

Words to send Miller out on the road again, after a life well-lived.