Robert A. “Fizz” Miller, son of Lewis and Maude (McFarland) Miller was born May 20, 1917 in Strasburg, Ohio and passed on November 26, 2016 in his home on the farm in Dover, OH.
At 99 ½. Fizz led a full and wonderful life marked by achievement and success, but more importantly, by the love he shared with so many and the immeasurable amount of love he received back.
Fizz was an avid golfer and loved playing cards with his buddies at the Elks and Senior Center. The farm was his hobby-most especially his cattle and his love of trees. He was a member of Ruslin Hills Church, Dover.
A wonderful husband and loving father, Fizz is survived by his wife of 67 years, Patricia (Zeller) Miller; four daughters: Jackie Miller Erskine (Mike), Susie Miller Roush (John), Wendy Miller, Lynn Miller; nine grandchildren: Luke Miller Roush (Brooke), Mark Miller Roush (Natalie), Michael Henry Erskine (Natalie), Robert Andrew Erskine (Jenny), Benjamin Clayton Erskine, Anya Marie Miller, Rebekah Grace Miller, Rachel Sizemore, and Emily Leoni; and eight great grandchildren.
Fizz believed that growing up in Strasburg had a meaningful impact on his life. It was a close-knit community with a strong culture of hard work, values, and support from family, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and community leaders. A three-sport athlete, Fizz graduated from Strasburg High School in 1935, attended business school, and worked at Timken for several years before matriculating to Ohio University in 1939. As a “Bobcat”, Fizz was a trackman and played forward on the basketball team. In 1941, his basketball team played in the final game for the National College Championship in the National Invitational Tournament at Madison Square Gardens (a precursor to the NCAA Road to the Final Four).
Fizz left Ohio University in 1942 to serve in the US Army during WW11 (European Theatre). In 1946, he returned to Ohio University to finish his degree and athletic eligibility before beginning his professional career in Dover. Fizz and his brother, Dutch, founded Miller & Miller Accounting, Miller & Miller Insurance, and Commercial Honing. He was a founder and director of Surety Savings and Loan in Dover. Fizz took great pride in recruiting and mentoring young business professionals who, themselves, went on to be strong business and civic leaders. Although busy, Fizz found time to coach elementary school basketball, and was one of the first coaches when the Dover Little League program started. He had a positive affect on the lives of many young players who continued to maintain a strong relationship with Fizz throughout their lives. His Little League team’s remarkable 68 game winning streak was featured in the New York Post as a Little League record.
Fizz felt compelled to give back to the communities that had supported him. For nearly 50 years, Fizz was a leader in community affairs and a generous donor to many worthy causes. He actively supported the Tuscarawas County YMCA, Union Hospital, area schools and Kiwanis. He established an endowed scholarship at Ohio University in memory of his Basketball Coach, Dutch Trautwein. In 1999, he established and endowed the Tom Patton Scholarship Fund at the Tuscarawas County YMCA and after Fizz’s family surprised him by establishing a Fizz Miller Scholarship to assist graduating seniors at Strasburg High, he endowed the fund and renamed it to include his brother (Dutch) in the honor.
Fizz was honored in numerous ways to include: the Ohio University Athletic Hall of Fame, the establishment of the Robert A. “Fizz” Miller Leadership Scholarship at Dover High School, and in January, will be inducted into the Strasburg Athletic Hall of Fame. However, Fizz maintained that his greatest reward was seeing the young people he influenced do well in their lives of work and service. He will be greatly missed.
A memorial service celebrating Fizz’s life will be held Saturday, December 17, 2016 beginning at 2pm in the St. John United Church of Christ in Strasburg with Pastor Jason Rissler officiating. The family will receive friends and family at the church from 12:30-2pm. Those unable to attend or who may wish to express a fond memory of Fizz may sign the online guestbook by visiting the “obituaries and flowers” link on the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in honor of Fizz’s devotion to youth and education be made to the Fizz and Dutch Miller Scholarship c/o the Strasburg Tiger Foundation, 140 N. Bodmer Ave., Strasburg, Ohio 44680.