William Robert Millard
It is with a broken heart that I announce the passing of my father William Robert “Bob” Millard. A loving and dedicated husband, father and grandfather, born May 26, 1938 he passed away peacefully in his home April 9, 2022. He is preceded in death by his loving wife Brenda, his parents William and Drusilla Millard, and sisters Carol and Anita.
He is survived by his adoring daughter Michelle Patti, her husband Todd, who loved him as a father, two grandchildren, Alyssa Lyn and Robert Michael and numerous friends and family.
Bob was a native of Louisville, Kentucky. When he was a child, his maternal grandmother moved into the family home bringing with her an old upright piano. Thus began an instant love affair and he taught himself how to play at age four. During high school, the band director recognized his natural talent and taught him music theory, composition and how to read guitar symbols on sheet music. By age 14 Bob was playing professionally and had joined the Musicians Union. He was voted Most Talented at Southern High School and was a natural entertainer.
He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, KY and was in the 113th Army Band. He met and married the love of his life, Brenda in 1962 and spent 50 years loving her and being a dedicated husband and father.
Early in his career Bob sang and played piano at Louisville’s finest supper clubs and lounges and was a regular on The Morning Show on WAVE-TV, the NBC affiliate station. When Oscar-winning songwriter Sammy Cahn guested on the The Morning Show, Bob played him on with “All the Way” and started a friendship that lasted until Cahn’s passing. They co-wrote the song “One Time,” and Sammy was instrumental in Bob’s and Brenda’s decision to relocate to Los Angeles in 1976.
Once Bob was settled in California, Sammy arranged a meeting with the owner of famed restaurant Gatsby’s, and he began performing there. On his first night, Bob recalls looking out to his audience and seeing George Burns, Betty White with her husband Allen Ludden, and Tony Martin with wife Cyd Charisse. During his time there he amassed fans and friendships in many celebrities including Bert Convy, Lucille Ball, Danny and Rosemarie Thomas, Dean Martin, Phyllis Diller, and countless others. He was a lifelong supporter of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and graciously performed on their telethons.
Bob also performed at the iconic Jimmy’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills. He stayed there for many years in addition to appearing at other local hot spots such as Cafe Swiss, and Hotel Bel Air. Many more celebrities became friends and fans, and it would not be unusual to see Bob singing a duet with the likes of Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, or Merv Griffin. Bob was the quintessential Entertainer’s Entertainer and he was loved and cherished by many.
In 1995, a change of scenery was in order. Bob and his beautiful wife Brenda made the move to Las Vegas where he began performing at the local celebrity hangout Piero’s.
After Piero’s, Bob appeared at Ferraro’s, a local Italian restaurant. One night, the entertainment director of MGM GRAND, Richard Sturm, asked if he would be interested in opening the Brown Derby restaurant. There he began a two-year run for his old friend Kirk Kerkorian. While there, he became friends with Tom Jones, who came in every night to see Bob play after his show at the Hollywood Theatre. Bob also had a four-year run at Onda Lounge at the Mirage and he later worked at Golden Steer and Waverly’s Steakhouse.
Bob played for various private and exclusive events around Las Vegas and never wanted to retire. After Brenda’s passing in 2011 he spent more time with his daughter’s family in Dallas, TX and made wonderful family memories.
Bob’s joy was found in bringing happiness to others through life and song. He was a masterful storyteller and brilliantly hilarious. Music was his gift and he gave of it freely and beautifully. He is deeply missed and immensely loved. We know Bob is reunited with his loved ones in Heaven, and singing with the Angels with a glass of his favorite Merlot. We also know that he will finally master the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle! Bob will forever live on in our hearts and memories.
We will honor Bob with a Celebration of Life, details forthcoming. Please feel free to share any special memories you have of Bob and how he touched your life.
I love you Daddy💖💖💖
Michelle, I think of your father often. He played piano for our Variety Shows at Southern High School. What a talent! I sang in a girls trio and he played for us when we performed in USO shows. I can recall him coming to my home and playing for me numerous times. He didn’t always come to play, just to hang out. Not only was your father talented, he was witty and fun to be with. As the years passed we lost touch and then somehow we found one another again. He was in Vegas and I have a sister-in-law that also lives there. We were visiting her and I got in touch with you father. We met for lunch and talked about old times. We have stayed in touch by email ever since. I can’t tell you how much I will miss him. May God give you peace, and keep the good memories alive and I will do the same.
I loved Bob, he was so good, and also fun loving. He played for our girls trio, on the USO tours. We were all so young then, just out of High School. I am so glad that we had the chance to meet up for lunch once in Vegas, a few years ago, while we were on a trip.
I spent midnight till dawn with bob millard and Tom Jones at the MGM grand Food Court restaurant Brown Derby. We all traded songs. I first met Barbara Jimmy’s restaurant in Beverly Hills. The Bel Air gig was great. Bobs “On a Sunday morning sidewalk” was fantastic!
We visited Bob at the Golden Steer restaurant in Las Vegas. We traded hundreds of emails.
Bob millard was to me first and foremost a twonderful human being. Condolences to his family!
I worked as a bartender at Jimmy’s in Beverly Hills for 10 years. Bob was amazing. When a guest asked him to play The theme from the musical Cats, Bob sang, “Meow meow meow meow.” the cat food commercial, totally straight faced. Great boogie woogie piano!!!
I love this!! ♥️♥️♥️♥️ thank you for sharing. Total Bob sense of humor.
Michelle, I am a distant cousin of yours. You may remember my Dad, Benny Millard. Your Grandfather, and my Grandfather, Belva, were brothers. I remember visiting Uncle Billy and Aunt Drudy, when I was a kid. I remember Dad taking me to see the Louisville Colonels play in the early 70’s and your Dad played the organ there, at the old Louisville Gardens. I saw your Dad on Happy Days and told my wife about your Dad, Bob. My Dad passed about 6 years ago and I wondered if Bob was still alive. That’s how I ran across his obit. My Dad was older than yours. He was born in 1929. It’s good to know that I have a relative out there that I didn’t know about, even though I was saddened by the realization that Bob had been gone almost one year, to the day. Thanks for listening and I have left my email in case you want to respond. God bless.