Bob Miller will be laid to rest Sept. 1
BY MIKE WARREN
MARSHFIELD – A former Marshfield man is being remembered as someone who did business on a handshake, but meant business when it came to his family and his community.
Bob Miller died April 12, at age 88, at the place he loved most – his Iron River, WI cabin. He will be laid to rest Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park in Spooner, and anyone who knew Bob is invited to attend, and celebrate Bob’s life with the family. Miller, a Marine Corp. veteran, will receive full military honors, and will be buried next to his son Wade Miller, who died in 2004.
Bob Miller was born Nov. 29, 1933 in Kaukauna. In fact, his first visit to Marshfield was as a member of the Kaukauna High School boxing team. Miller joined the Marine Corp. during the post-World War Two era of the early 1950’s, where he also boxed. He attended what was then Superior State Teacher’s College, where he met his wife Sylvia in 1956. The two were married the following year in Superior.
The coupled eventually landed in Wisconsin Rapids, where Bob had taken a managerial job with the Pabst Brewing Company. In 1967, they were approached by George Bilek, who owned the Pabst distributorship in Marshfield, about purchasing the operation, which they did. “Bob said, ‘I don’t have any money, George’,” his widow Sylvia recalls. “And George said, ‘That’s okay. Go to the bank, get what you can and you just pay us off when you can.’ And they did it on a handshake,” she added. “And dad did a lot of things on a handshake in this town,” his daughter Tiffany added.
The couple started growing the business, and in 1972 moved it from Marshfield’s downtown out to South Washington Avenue, where it remains to this day. The man named Miller would eventually grow one of the largest, and most profitable, Budweiser distributorships in the Midwest.
Locally, Bob’s Eagle Eye Beverage was a big supporter of local softball leagues, Marshfield Chaparrals baseball, and a host of other community events and organizations. Twice the Miller’s brought the famous Budweiser Clydesdales to Marshfield. Sylvia Miller was also a dog breeder and trainer, and is a charter member of the Marshfield Kennel Club. People affectionately started referring to her as “The Dog Lady” following her regular appearances on the former “Insight” program on WDLB.
The Miller’s sold Eagle Eye Beverage in 1994, and retired to their cabin in Iron River. But things came full circle in 2016, when Bob would once again find himself “distributing” beer. After his daughter Tiffany opened T’s on 10 near her home, Bob and Sylvia would “hold down the fort” for a week each spring while Tiffany and her family went on vacation. The building that housed T’s on 10, until a fire destroyed the business in 2021, was known more recently as Fanta’s, but in Bob’s day was Johnny’s Beer Bar, which was a customer of his beer distributorship.
Bob and Sylvia Miller have four children – Wade, Wendy, Glen and Tiffany – and nine grandchildren. Condolences can be sent to the Miller family at 10925 MacArthur Drive, Marshfield, WI, 54449.