DAYTON — Vandalia donor Robert “Bob” Miller has loved manipulating metal into machine parts since his machine shop days at Vandalia Butler High School. He has also forged a long career as a “Donor for Life” which now includes his milestone 200th lifetime donation Aug. 16 at the Dayton Community Blood Center.
Bob was co-op student in high school, splitting time between the classroom and the machine shop. After graduation he went straight to full-time work as a machinist, and soon became a blood donor.
“It was around 1972,” he said. “I was working at a small machine shop in north Dayton and a co-worker was injured in a car accident and they asked folks to donate blood.”
His co-worker survived and Bob remained committed to blood donations. “We had a niece in Children’s Hospital when she was very young,” said Bob. “When we went to visit her, you saw other children in the hospital. I thought, if they need blood, I can give more.”
Bob became a platelet donor back during the early years of apheresis at CBC. He stills remember the time-consuming, two-arm procedure. He continued to also donate whole blood for many years, but has been a consistent platelet and plasma donor since 2004.
He’s battled through a second knee replacement and carpel tunnel surgery this year. “The human body just wasn’t met for standing on concrete all day,” he said. But he still managed to make eight donations last year and reached his 200th milestone with his third donation of 2018.
He now works at Tenneco, manufacturing shock absorbers and struts for the auto industry. “This is on my way home,” he said of his after-work donation routine.
Bob lost his wife Pat to heart failure eight years ago. He finds comfort in his two daughters and five grandchildren. He has twin seven-year old grandsons in Miamisburg and it’s a joy to watch their weekend soccer games.
When fall arrives, friends in the stands may notice Bob wearing a new jacket: black, embroidered in red with a salute to his achievement, “Donor for Life – 200 LTD.”