Cover photo for Robert L. Smith's Obituary
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1940 Robert 2012

Robert L. Smith

December 13, 1940 — March 22, 2012

Robert L. (Bob) Smith, 71, of 40339 Blacow Road, Fremont, Calif, passed from this earth on Thursday March 22, 2012, at his home, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

Bob came into this world, on a cold, snowy afternoon on December 13, 1940, the first son of Burton L and Miriam M. Ristau Smith in the Franklin Hospital.

Growing up in the Reno area, he attended Rocky Grove High School, graduating in 1960, and enlisting in the U.S. Navy. His enlistment further provided his electronic training which began in his while helping in his father?s TV repair shop, while he was growing up. After Aviation Electronics schooling in Memphis, TN his first duty station in Jacksonville, FL found him maintaining aircraft weapon systems, in Attack Squadron 36, during the Cuban Missile Crisis onboard the USS Saratoga. Following that deployment, his next duty station took him to Argentina, Newfoundland. Having received the Medal for Good Conduct, his 6 year enlistment ended with an honorable discharge from active duty after 4 years and relocation to northern California, to complete 2 years of Naval Reserve duty. During this time he went to work at General Electric in San Francisco from 1966-68. He attended the College of San Mateo, in San Mateo, Calif. Over the next two years while working for Varian Associates in Palo Alto, Calif. as an electronics technician. Some years later that company went through restructuring and a division name change to Communications and Power Industries. Bob became a supervisor in the Microwave Tube Division, retiring in November 2010 after 42 years of service. During his employment he made several business trips overseas with his family to India and Hong Cong, involving transfers of technologies with satellite companies, which was great for him because he loved to travel and really loved being able to travel with his family.

Surviving is his wife, Brenda Lee Todd-Smith, with whom he shared his life for last 41 years. They were married on June 12, 1971 in Cupertino, Calif. Together they brought their daughter Audra into this world, raising her to be the ?apple of his eye?. Bob was truly a family man who loved his wife and daughter so much, he placed them above all else in his life. His favorite holiday was Christmas and he was especially fond of creating unique Christmas displays. His passion for music and singing with his wife in the church quartet was a driving force that kept him involved with the Harborlite Men?s Group for many years. He liked gardening and working in his back yard, but to all that knew him and by his own admission, he loved to tinker with anything electrical. If something could be fixed, he could do it! If you needed an item, he could usually produce one. He had a wealth of information and could answer almost any question you could come up with. Even though he lived on the other side of the country, his wife?s family was as much a family to him as his own and he always treated everyone the way he wanted to be treated.

Surviving along with his wife is a daughter Audra L. Smith-Wilke and her husband Paul of Mare Island, CA and a grandson Max Wilke of Saratoga, CA. Also surviving are three sisters Shirley Stewart of Harrisville, Karen Wright of Franklin, and Christel Monks and her husband mike of ; two brothers Delbert Smith and his wife Carol and William Smith and his wife Paula all of Franklin; numerous nieces and nephews and his California family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Nancy Bish, three brothers-in-law Brice Stewart, Darl Bish and Raymond Wright, a nephew Burton Stewart, a niece infant Stewart and a great-niece Shirley Smith.

A Celebration of Life was held in his honor on May 12, 2012 in San Jose, Calif. by his wife, family and friends.

On Tuesday June 12, 2012, their 41st wedding anniversary, at noon in the Reno Cemetery a graveside memorial service will be held. Pastor Pat Daugherty, of the Atlantic Avenue United Brethren Church in Franklin will officiate. Military honors will be accorded by the V.E.T.S. Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society?s Relay for Life.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert L. Smith, please visit our flower store.


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