October 24 reception to honor life of Dr. Robert Miller

Over four decades as a local medical surgeon, the late Dr. Robert Miller endeared himself to many a Garden City and southwest Kansas resident, with his compassionate approach to care and knack for connecting with patients on a personal level.

As a tribute, the St. Catherine Hospital Development Foundation will host a wine and cheese reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 24, to honor Dr. Miller’s life and service to the community. The event will be held in the south lobby of St. Catherine Hospital, 401 E. Spruce St.,with Dr. Miller’s family as the honored guests.

One of Dr. Miller’s greatest passions was working with surgery residents, and with that in mind, the St. Catherine Foundation also is asking for donations in his name that can be used to help provide continuing education for surgery technicians. Donations can be made to the St. Catherine Hospital Development Foundation, with Dr. Robert Miller in the memo line, at the reception, by mail to 401 E. Spruce St, Garden City, KS 67846, or online at www.SCHDFoundation.org.

It’s been estimated that Dr. Miller cared for more than 10,000 inpatients from across western Kansas during his 28 years on the medical staff at St. Catherine. He is remembered not only for his skill as a surgeon, but also his willingness to take the time to visit with and listen to his patients.

After serving as a U.S. Army surgeon for nearly 17 years, Dr. Miller went into private practice in general and thoracic surgery in 1972, first in Denver and Longmont, Colo., before moving to Garden City in 1975, where he practiced until 2003. While serving the Garden City and southwest Kansas communities, he supervised surgery residents from the University of Kansas Medical School.

Dr. Miller, who retired from private practice in 2003, died in May 2018 in Windsor, Colo.

Born in Medina, N.D., in 1926, he was raised on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where his parents were school teachers. He graduated from Mission (S.D.) High School.

In 1944, Miller entered the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1947 with the rank of aviation radioman second class. He received his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa in 1951, and his medical degree from the the University of Texas, Dallas, Medical School in 1955.

After medical school, he entered the U.S. Army to intern at Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver, where he completed a four-year general surgery residency. In 1961, he was assigned as commanding officer of the 44th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea. After his tour in Korea, he was assigned to Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco, where he was chief of general surgery for two years before returning to Fitzsimmons General Hospital to complete a thoracic surgery residency.

In 1967, Dr. Miller was assigned as deputy brigade commander of the 44th Medical Brigade in Vietnam and later became the commanding officer of the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi, Vietnam. After serving in Vietnam, he became chief of general surgery at Fitzsimmons General Hospital until retiring from the Army in 1972.

For more information on the reception, contact Paige Kraus, foundation stewardship coordinator, at paigekraus@centura.org or 620.272.2376.