John Robert Smith, known to family and friends as Robert, was born in Alton, Illinois on July 9, 1936, the first child of Arthur Madison Smith and Vivian Louise Bradley Smith. He passed from this life on April 1, 2017.
Robert spent his early childhood in various cities in southern Illinois where his father pursued higher education. In the summer of 1945, the family moved to Ft. Worth, Texas, where his father attended Southwestern Theological Seminary. This led the family to College Station, Texas, in 1947 where his father took a position at the Baptist Student Department’s new student center in College Station as Bible Teacher. Robert was always a member of churches his father pastored, until after his father’s death, when he joined Reliance Baptist Church.
Young Robert attended A&M Consolidated Elementary School in College Station, grades 6-9 and graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Bryan in 1954. It was here that his life changed when he met Patsy Ray Smith. They were married in 1957 and remained sweethearts for the next sixty years. Their dedication to each other and their four children never wavered and was the center of their lives.
Robert graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Accounting in 1963 and went to work in the Fiscal Department at A&M starting as a teller in the fiscal office in the Coke Building. He spent his entire working life in the administration at A&M particularly in the Fiscal Department. Over the years he advanced and was eventually promoted to and served A&M Presidents Frank Vandiver and William Mobley as Vice President of Finance & Administration. During his career at A&M, Robert guided the athletic program through troubled times as the University’s NCAA Compliance Officer. He retired in 1995.
After retirement, Robert and Pat lived in Houston, Dallas, Ruidoso, NM and College Station, TX.
During his life, Robert engaged in a number avocations including photography, ham radio, weightlifting and raising cattle with his brother Richard. As his father before him, Robert did not engage in these endeavors in a halfway manner. It was always 100%, pedal to the metal fashion. From his teenage years until Parkinson’s disease limited his physical ability, he loved owning and maintaining, in a spotless condition, cars and motorcycles.
Robert was pre-deceased by his father and mother. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pat; his four children Karen Rene Smith, John Robert Smith, Jr. (Marcella), Phillip Ray Smith and Kevin Randall Smith; three grandchildren, John Robert Smith, III, Weston Ray Smith and Katie Lynn Smith; his brother and sister-in-law Richard and Norma Smith of College Station/Ruidoso, NM; his brother and sister- in-law James Bradley and Ellen Smith of Houston, Anacortes, WA; his nieces Sandra Smith Singer (Jeff) of Richmond, TX, Sharon Smith Pittman (Steve) of College Station, and Jessica Smith of Houston, TX; his nephew Joel Smith of Houston, TX; great nieces Courtney Michelle Adamez, Jennifer Marie Adamez, Morgan Elizabeth Adamez, Kristin Singer Waybright and Melissa Rene Pittman; great nephews Andrew Robert Singer, Matthew Jeffrey Adamez, John Spencer (Jack) Burley and Bradley Allen Pittman; and brother-in-law Warren Smith, his wife Pat and their children and grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Robert’s life may make donations to Traditions Hospice Care or Reliance Baptist Church. Visitation will be held at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center in Bryan from 4-6 pm on Friday, April 7, 2017, and a Memorial Service honoring Robert’s life will be held also at Callaway-Jones Funeral Center in Bryan at 2 pm on Saturday, April 8, 2017.