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Wolfeboro mourns another beloved friend lost to violence

Memorial service for Bobbie Miller set for next Wednesday in Gilford

November 11, 2010
WOLFEBORO — Once again news of a homicide reached Wolfeboro last week. The sadness for the loss of Bobbie Miller, 54, mother of Jennifer and Jonathan and a friend to many, has been palpable.

On Nov. 2, Miller was found shot to death in her Gilford home, with her dog dead at her side. She had recently moved to Gilford from Wolfeboro for a fresh start in life, following her divorce from her husband, Gary, in August. She had started back to school and been working on decorating her new home. Little did she know that the celebration of her birthday on Sept. 25 in her new home would be her last.

Parallels to the murder of Stacey Burns are inescapable. Like Burns, Miller was recently divorced, and money issues, resulting in a contempt of court citation, were scheduled to bring her and her ex-husband together in court just days before her death.

Like Burns, her body was discovered by her son, who in this case, lived nearby, just about five minutes by an ATV along a trail between their homes, and once again, just as in the Burn's case, the State Police Crimes unit is at work, in silence. The public knows little and no arrest has been made.

Again speculation abounds as police interview acquaintances in an attempt to create a timeline of her last days and hours. One can only hope that this time, there will be an answer, unlike the unsolved murder of Burns.

The Attorney General's office has assured Gilford residents that they don't need to live in fear because it was not a random act of violence, a familiar refrain to Wolfeboro inhabitants, who worried about the threat of violence following Burns' murder.

And once again, friends like Diane Kuhn, who talked to Bobbie Miller almost every day to discuss their classes at Granite State College, and who met with her often to study, are finding "living without her presence very difficult… She was full of life, fun and wanted adventure… I find myself wanting to call her. That's when it hits the most."

Dale Grout, owner of Johnson Paint and Wallpaper, where Miller worked for two years, said that she, too, felt "very sad. She didn't deserve what she got." She said that in the last week her regular customers have been remembering Miller, too.

"She was a great employee. We had a good working rapport. I hated to lose her when we did… She touched a lot of people's lives in a good way." Grout also recalled Miller's stained glass and woodworking abilities, as well as her love of hiking and kayaking.

Miller's former Haines Hill Road neighbor Warren Hamilton, who owns the Wolfeboro Campground called her, "a real sweetheart. She would go out of her way to do things for you. She was one of those people you just can't say anything bad about."

She'd come over to retrieve her lab mix, "Sport," who liked to eat the dog biscuits Hamilton had to offer and was known to get into the garbage on occasion. When Miller came over, says Hamilton, who says he's "known her for years" she was always welcome to indulge in her favorite Almond Joy candies.

Hamilton says the first few days after Miller's death, he "just couldn't get it off [his] mind." He describes the birthday celebration and open house as joyful. "She was happy," he says, and looking forward to Jennifer's trip home from California for Thanksgiving.

The family held a wake in Bedford, said Kuhn, and Jennifer, now staying with her brother, has scheduled a gathering at the Gilford Community Church on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 5 to 8 p.m. for all who knew her mother.

Meanwhile, many people are experiencing grief and the unease of another unsolved mystery.

[Editor's Note: Bobbie Miller's obituary appears on page A10.]

Martin Lord & Osman
Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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