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Robert W. “Bob” Smith, 93, of Avon, beloved husband of Barbara (Reed) Smith, died on Feb. 16 at John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington. He was born on Sept. 2, 1927, in Maspeth, New York, son of the late Corneal J. and Helen Magdalena (Will) Smith and lived in Simsbury for many years prior to moving to Avon.
To know Bob Smith was to know and respect his bottomless devotion to family. His wife and children meant everything to him and he was always there cheering them on, supporting them in their endeavors. He was at his best on the dance floor with his beloved Barbara, dancing the Lindy. To see the two of them spin on the floor was truly magnificent. He nurtured son Bob’s considerable track and field career, stopwatch in hand, timing him night and day on the high school track. He never missed daughter Patty’s orchestra concerts or track meets and was always at daughter Barbara’s field hockey games and band concerts. Recently, he enjoyed an evening listening to son Tim’s band play a local concert in Simsbury. He even took up skiing at the age of 50 so as not to miss out on the weekend family ski trips. While a gentle and caring man, Bob never lost his New York edge. He was proud of his New York roots with his quick wit and sense of humor always at the ready!
He was a veteran of World War II having served in the U.S. Army in Japan. After returning from the war, Bob started his career and went to night school on the G.I. Bill. He was a graduate of Adelphi University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in marketing. During his long career as a sales engineer for Rexnord Industries, Bob developed an expertise in the aerospace industry. His many business associates became close friends. He was a member of St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in Unionville and Farmington Woods Golf Club. He and Barbara enjoyed many wonderful evenings shared with friends at the Prince Thomas of Savoy Italian Social Club. He greatly enjoyed rounds of golf with Barbara as well as with his golfing buddies at Farmington Woods and Simsbury Farms. In addition to golf, Bob enjoyed bowling, woodworking, painting, gardening, and traveling. A very curious and industrious man, he was always involved in a project or starting a new one. He loved traveling extensively around the United States with Barbara, visiting their friends and family and indulging their intellect at dozens of elderhostels through the years. They also appreciated several trips to Europe as well as cruises to Russia, Alaska, and the islands. He was an avid fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers, at which he always sported his vintage Dodgers cap.
In addition to his wife of 59 years, he is survived by his children Robert Smith and wife Paula of Cary, North Carolina, Barbara Walchle and husband Steven of Loveland, Ohio, and Timothy Smith and wife Anne of Madison; his grandchildren Neal, Wesley, Geoffrey, Amanda, Rosie, Richard, Reed, Abby, and Shane; and his great-grandchildren, Rowan, Gavin and Isla. He was predeceased by his first wife, Harriette Fischer; his brothers Arthur Smith and Edward Smith; and his daughter, Patricia Ellen Diego.
A funeral Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 5, at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 145 Main Street in Unionville. Burial will be private. Donations in his memory may be made to the Fund for UConn Health. Please visit Robert’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.