Robert Charles Smith went peacefully to be with his Lord on Monday, Jan. 5, 2009.
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Bob was born to Charles Gray and Ella (nee Parsons) Smith on Feb. 6, 1924, in Davis, Tucker County, W.Va. He graduated valedictorian from Davis High School in June 1941 and enrolled in the College of Engineering at West Virginia University in September of the same year. He attended classes until dismissed to enter active military service in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1943. He eventually returned to WV University in September 1946, graduating with a B.S. in mechanical engineering June 1948, and continued to earn his MSME degree.
Bob and Hilda T. Kurtz were married at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Evanston, Ill., on June 22, 1946. Three daughters followed: Karen, born in Morgantown, W.Va., in 1949; Diane, born in West Point, N.Y., in 1952; and Barbara, born in Cheverly, Md., in 1956.
In addition to teaching and research at WV University and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Bob was a professor of engineering at MSC/MSU from March 1960 to July 1981 with a year as chairman, Division of Engineering, Harper College, Arlington Heights, Ill.
He was also in the military service in various engineering capacities, including teaching at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y.
Bob is survived by Hilda, his wife of 62 years; his sister, Nancy Hutz and husband, John and their children, Scott, Todd and David of Pennsylvania and Leland of Colorado; daughter, Karen Foust and husband, Jan of Bozeman; daughter, Diane Miranda of Bigfork; and daughter, Barb Kaftan and husband, Rick of Belgrade.
Bob and Hilda were blessed with seven grandchildren: Josh Huyser and wife Leah of Minneapolis, Shiloh McBee of Bozeman, Tim Foust and wife Joella of Helena, John Huyser and wife Theresa of Gallatin Gateway, Stephanie Furqueron and husband Elric of Bozeman, Moriah McKee and husband Matt of Bozeman, Joseph Shelton of Bozeman; and one great-grandchild, Zemirah Isabel Furqueron.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9, at First Lutheran Church, 225 S. Black Ave., Bozeman.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 7, 2009