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Dr. Robert D. (Bob) Miller II OFS, age 57, passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, following a recurrence of metastatic cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family at their home in Beltsville, Maryland.
Bob was born on August 21, 1966, and raised in Apple Creek, Ohio. He was an alumnus of Waynedale High School. He received his BA from Kent State University (1988) where he met his wife, Anne-Marie Duffy Miller. They were married in 1990. He received his MA and PhD in Biblical and Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan (1991/1998). His career as a Professor of Religious Studies and Scripture brought him to West Virgina University in Morgantown, WV (1988-98), Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD (1999-2008), and Catholic University of America since 2008, where he was promoted to Ordinary Professor of Theology in 2018. Bob also served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the School of Theology from 2017 - 2022. He was additionally a research affiliate of the University of Pretoria Faculty of Theology and Religion, and Life Member of St. John's College, Cambridge.
Bob authored eleven scholarly books and numerous research papers and conference proceedings on the history, literature, religion, and archaeology of Ancient Israel in the First Temple Period. His passion was teaching his students, and he was recognized by numerous teaching awards including his most recent honor of the 2023 Teacher of the Year Award from the School of Theology and Religious Studies Students' Association. Bob was also interested in the education of the Old Testament for the public. He is known for his Great Courses series “Understanding the Old Testament.” Bob has appeared in several media settings including National Geographic; "The Ten Plagues of the Bible", The Associated Press "NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week" and Aleteia "What is the best edition of the Bible for Catholics?". Bob was a former member of the Board of Trustees of the American Schools of Oriental Research and served as Chair of the Board of Control of the New American Bible for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Bob’s lifelong passion was music. He and his musical partner, Jonathan Friedman, started singing together in college in 1986. They began performing as the band “Sirocco,” with three members, in 1987, playing what Bob liked to call “electronic folk ranging from prog to instrumental new age.” Bob and Jon each wrote music and sang lead, and both played keyboards. They played steadily through college, and intermittently until about 1995. They gathered occasionally since then to practice and play for family and friends. In 2023, Bob and Jon recorded professional studio tracks through the generosity of the “Cancer Can Rock” organization and were able to publish their music on Spotify as Sirocco / Hieroglyphics.
In 1986 Bob converted to Catholicism, and in June 1998 he and his wife professed to the Secular Franciscan Order. Bob’s deepest devotion was to his family. He is survived by his wife Anne-Marie Duffy Miller, his sons William and partner Margot, Patrick and fiancé Susannah Ward, Joseph, and James, his parents Robert D. and Rebecca Miller, and his sister Lisa Miller Lang(JJ). Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, November 28 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Borgwardt Funeral Home, 44000 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 29, at 11:00 AM at St. Camillus Parish, 1600 St. Camillus Dr., Siver Spring, MD. Internment service will be held on Saturday, December 2 at Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home in Ashland, Ohio followed by burial at Ashland Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Robert asked for donations to be made to the Creche of the Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem via www.birthplaceofhope.org.
Holy Family Hospital of Bethlehem Foundation