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Robert W. Miller, 83, revered as athlete, coach and math teacher

Aug. 16, 1934 – June 22, 2018

Robert W. Miller, of Orchard Park, revered as a math teacher and a champion high school athlete and coach, died June 22 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. He was 83.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1952 graduate of Bishop Timon High School, where he was an All-Catholic athlete in basketball and baseball.

He set a scoring record in Catholic League basketball championships that stood for 25 years and won the Catholic League baseball title for Timon in 1952 with a game-saving catch in the outfield against Bishop Ryan High School and by driving in the winning run the next day against Bishop Fallon High School.

He also was the starting catcher under Coach Bob McKinnon at Canisius College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. He completed his master’s degree in education at the University of Buffalo in 1957.

He played more baseball while serving as an Army paratroop officer from 1957 to 1959. He was the catcher for the Fort Knox Tankers, who won the U.S. Second Army baseball championship in 1958.

Returning from service, Mr. Miller was a math teacher at Grover Cleveland High School from 1959 to 1967. He also served as varsity basketball and baseball coach at St. Joseph’s College Institute from 1961 to 1970, where his teams won two Bishop Burke Catholic League championships and the 1967 Manhattan Cup basketball championship.

He went on to be a math teacher at Cleveland Hill High School in Cheektowaga from 1967 to 1971, then was assistant principal at Lackawanna High School from 1972 to 1996. He taught math as an adjunct professor at Erie Community College from 1996 to 2017.

He also taught at Hilbert College and took part in a program sponsored by Daemen College in which he taught inmates in Attica, Wyoming and Collins correctional facilities. He also was a mentor in math to dozens of teachers, coaches and athletes throughout the area.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Mary E. Cosgrove; a son, Michael; a daughter, Karen Zavarella; two brothers, Raymond and John; and four grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday, June 29, in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Ridge Road and South Park Avenue, Lackawanna.

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