Robert was born July 16, 1929 to Faye B. and Flora M. Thurlby Smith. He married Edna Joanne Smith on July 7, 1957 in Galesburg.
Surviving Robert are his daughter, Lori (Rick) Sundberg of Galesburg and one son, Mark (Joetta) Smith of Monmouth. He also has two grandchildren surviving him who were the light of his life; Cameron and Carissa Smith of Monmouth. He is also survived by two grown step grandchildren, Nicole (Ben) Hawkinson and Eric (Tabitha Hillier) Sundberg and their children, Annelise, Alaina, Jonah and Mara Hawkinson. He is also survived by two sisters, Betty Valdez of Del Rio, Texas and Patricia Haneghan of Knoxville, Ill.
Robert was preceded in death by his wife 2 ½ years ago and has mourned her death since. He was lost without his best friend and confidant. He was also preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, and four other sisters.
Robert attended schools in Galesburg. He was a baker by profession and worked early in his career at the Scandia Bakery, and later at Danners and Swedoughs.
Robert enjoyed spending time with his wife, Joanne, whom he considered his best friend. He was proud to be a Master Mason and also was active in First Baptist Church, for which he was a member for almost 70 years. He was affectionately nicknamed Papa Pigmy by his daughter’s cheerleader friends when she was in high school and he wore the name proudly. He loved his grandchildren and took pride in their accomplishments and enjoyed seeing them succeed in whatever sports or activities in which they participated. He was supportive of whatever his children or grandchildren were involved in and was almost always present for their events.
A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Galesburg Chapel with Pastor Dan Siems of First Baptist Church officiating. Graveside services will follow at Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens. There will be no visitation. Memorials may be left to Carl Sandburg College. Online condolences may be left at www.h-p-w.com.