New plaque put in place for Bobby Miller at OCHS

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From left are David Miller, Natalie Jackson, Jane Miller Glenn, Kristie Fenton, Abbey Fenton, Marcia Shallcross and Doug Shallcross at a plaque dedication ceremony at Ocean City High School in memory of their family member, the late Bobby Miller. From left are David Miller, Natalie Jackson, Jane Miller Glenn, Kristie Fenton, Abbey Fenton, Marcia Shallcross and Doug Shallcross at a plaque dedication ceremony at Ocean City High School in memory of their family member, the late Bobby Miller.

OCEAN CITY — He was a star athlete at Ocean City High School, excelling in football, wrestling and baseball. As a sophomore in 1980, Bobby Miller led the Red Raider football team in rushing yards.

He had a promising career ahead of him, but never had the opportunity to reach his full potential.  On Nov. 22, 1980, three weeks short of his 16th birthday, Miller was killed in a collision between a mini bike and a go-cart at the Tuckahoe Turf Farm.

He never had the opportunity to graduate with his classmates in June 1983, but his memory was kept alive when a memorial plaque was placed underneath a big, old tree in front of the old Ocean City High School.

The plaque read “Robert T. Miller,” with “Bobby” and “Class of 1983” underneath.

Years later, when a new high school was built across the street and the old building torn down, a long row of trees were taken down to make way for a parking lot and tennis courts. The memorial plaque with Miller’s name, removed during construction, was misplaced.

The situation was rectified Tuesday morning when a new plaque was dedicated near where the original was last seen, at the base of a tree near the entrance to the parking lot, on the site of the old Ocean City High School.

Mayor Jay Gillian, a former classmate of Miller’s, gathered with the Miller family, including his mother, Jane Miller Glenn, three of his siblings, David Miller, Kristie Fenton and Marcia Shallcross, nieces Abbey Fenton and Natalie Jackson and nephew Doug Shallcross for the ceremony.

Glenn said she was pleased to see a plaque back in place.

“It makes me feel good, to know the tree is there, with his name on it,” she said. “It helps. That’s the way it should be, like going to the cemetery, you expect to see the headstone.”

“When something’s been dedicated, you don’t just up and take it away,” she said. “You don’t just forget about it, it’s supposed to last. It means something to those who were lost. People want their loved ones remembered. We’re very happy that the plaque is back in place.”

Glenn said the oldest of her five children left his mark on OCHS.

“Bobby was an excellent athlete,” she said. “He was well liked by everyone. Bobby lit up the room when he walked in. He was a good kid, a good son.”

Glenn described his death as a “mother’s worst nightmare.”

“You expect to bury your parents, maybe your siblings, but not your kids,” she said. “It was the largest funeral that Godfrey’s ever had. Bobby was looking forward to drivers ed.”

Miller’s football jersey number, 44, was retired after he died, but Glenn said the team agreed to let Doug Shallcross wear his late uncle’s number at Ocean City High School this fall.

“We established a scholarship for Bobby,” Glenn said.

The Bobby Miller Memorial Award is a “symbol of all that is good in athletic competition.”

It’s given every year to deserving OCHS students.

Glenn said she thinks about her oldest son every day, but “it’s nice to see him publicly remembered.”

“It makes me feel good, to know that there is a tree there, with his name on it,” she said.

Bobby Miller, a star athlete at Ocean City High School, died as a sophomore in 1980. A plaque was dedicated in 1983, but lost when the new OCHS was constructed in 2003. Bobby Miller, a star athlete at Ocean City High School, died as a sophomore in 1980. A plaque was dedicated in 1983, but lost when the new OCHS was constructed in 2003.


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