Robert Louis Smith was born in Nanaimo, B.C. on January 8, 1918. Bob had an active childhood with his four brothers and sister. He worked through a series of childhood jobs, but there was plenty of time for fun. Bob had many fond memories of swimming and fishing. Some of the fun came to a stop with the start of school. He had to be bribed with a nickel and arrowroot cookies to let go of the hydro pole and go to class.
On August 7, 1941, Robert began his service with the Royal Canadian Navy. As a Stoker Petty officer he served Canada, “on the High Seas” until October 22, 1945.
During the war years, Bob met and married Hazel Bernice Hudson. As of August 28, 2007 they had been married for 64 years. Their marriage was one of true respect, love, happiness and lots of fun. Bob never believed in a “Division of labour”. He quite happily cleaned house, changed diapers and served Mom breakfast in bed. A good sense of humour, on both their parts, kept life good. After the war, Robert had several jobs in sales, before training as an airplane mechanic at Sea Island. His love of planes was passed onto his grandson. He was thrilled when Jamie began the avionics course at BCIT training in the same area. After his service in the air force, Bob worked as a civilian on the air force base at Comox. In 1968 they bought their first home in Little River (Comox Valley). Summers were spent at Mom’s birthplace in Anglemont where they built a small cabin by the Shuswap Lake. Weekends were spent camping at lakes on Vancouver Island. Up would go their huge, ungainly tent – lovingly referred to as “the divorce tent” because of the rigmarole in setting it up. Every time something went wrong and a pile of extra poles mocked him! Dad was an avid reader and evenings were spent doing the “Jumble”, watching “Jeopardy”, reading and answering mom’s frequent crossword puzzle questions.
Predeceased by a newborn, Mary Smith. She was born and died on October 3, 1949. This was a death they never got over. Robert is survived and lovingly remembered by his wife Hazel, his daughter Robyn (Jim) Mudry of Chase, B.C. and his sons Michael (Teresa), and Greg (Penny) of Kelowna. He also leaves five grandchildren Trevor, Megan, Jamie, Erin and Chris. Bob also leaves two brothers George and Albert on Vancouver Island, great grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial for dad will be held at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Chase on Saturday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at the Chase Cemetery.
Flowers are gratefully declined. If you wish donations in Bob’s memory to the Royal Inland Hospital, 311 Columbia Street, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 2T1 or the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3V4 would be appreciated.
Our special thanks to Dr. Farrell and all the nursing staff on 5 North, Royal Inland Hospital, your help and wonderful care is greatly appreciated.
On-line condolences may be expressed at www.schoenings.com
Arrangements entrusted to Schoening Funeral Service, Kamloops, telephone 250-374–1454.