Robert Miller Cecil ’48

Robert Miller Cecil ’48 died peacefully on June 14 at Foxdale Village, State College, Pa. He was born in Spartanburg, S.C., on March 11, 1924, the seventh child of Levi Miller Cecil and Inez Felder Cecil. Cecil served in the Air Force from 1943-46. He held degrees from the Juilliard School and the Yale University School of Music. He married Dorothy Essery of Birmingham, Mich., in 1949. Cecil was an instructor at the Yale School of Music for four years. He performed in the New Art Woodwind Quintet and as a freelance French horn player in New York City for several years before accepting a teaching position in 1962 at Hope College, Holland, Mich. While at Hope College, Cecil taught theory and conducted the concert and football bands, founded the jazz band, and served one year as acting chairman of the music department. He was also instrumental in teaching and making the interdisciplinary course “Encounter with the Arts” a permanent part of the curriculum at Hope College. When he retired as professor of music in 1985, he and Dorothy moved to Lexington, Va., where he enjoyed working to establish the Rockbridge County Habitat for Humanity chapter and was active in building the first house for a Lexington family. He enjoyed hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, biking the county roads, and doing cabinet work in his woodshop. They moved to Foxdale Village in State College in 1991, where Cecil was a member of the Foxdale Woodshop and continued his biking, cabinet-making, and doing repairs for community members. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Cecil, 500 E. Marylyn Ave., Apt. F95, State College, PA 16801-2747; his daughters, Margaret Fincher (Russell), Anne Cecil Slusher, and Jane Cecil (Benito Kalaw); four granddaughters; three grandsons; one great-granddaughter; one great-grandson; his brother, Henry S. Cecil; and a sister, Jean Cecil McAdams.