Robert "Bob" Norris Smith
Robert "Bob" Norris Smith passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 27 in his home after a prolonged illness. He was surrounded by family who loved and cherished him. This gentleman began his life in the depression era and, in many ways, embodied the American dream. The youngest of seven children, he was born to Letcher and Leona Smith on September 26, 1930 in the back of his family home. His parents owned a small grocery store in Norris, Missouri - simply a bend in the road north of Clinton. Not uncommon during those days, the family lived above their business. He started his entrepreneurial life by candling chicken eggs. With the great depression, the family moved to Clinton and continued in the grocery business. Bob lived the small town life in which he and a brother had a tonsillectomy in the general practitioner's office under ether and, afterward, they all went downstairs to the drug store and had ice cream.
Robert moved to Springfield in 1951. He worked for Stewart - Nattinger, for over 20 years. He then bought HB Wall, sold this to establish R. N. Smith, lnc.; a commercial hardware and door company in1976, where he worked full time until shortly before his death. He married Joan Klingner Derrough in July 1987, who survives him. He moved to the country- a place he grew to love.
Robert was a long term member of Hickory Hills Country Club, Twin Oaks Country Club, the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine - of which he was a member of the Royal Order of the Jesters as well as the Elks Lodge
Robert loved family, golf, his country living, going to the lake- casting an occasional pole or patrolling the neighborhood with Gordon McCann in the golf cart. He loved the California and Florida sunshine.
He was predeceased by his parents, four brothers and a sister. He is survived by a sister, Doris Kirkpatrick of Warrensburg; 3 sons and their families: Brad & Maria Smith (TX), Randy Smith and Chris & Amy Smith- all of Springfield; 2 daughters: Pam & Marc Gautreaux (TX), Gail & Jim Maschino of Springfield; 2 stepdaughters & family: Shelly Derrough & David Randall, Jennifer & John Essman; as well as 6 grandchildren, 5 great- grandchildren, nieces, nephews and the employees of R. N. Smith Inc.
In lieu of a funeral, a celebration of Bob's life shall be held at the Elks Club at 5:30 PM on Tuesday, July 6, where this gentleman regularly met with long time friends and cronies. A brief service will be officiated by the Rev. Jonathan Frazier and a celebration will follow with his many friends and family.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his name to the Shriners Hospital, the
or Elks Lodge409, 2223 E. Bennett St., Springfield, MO 65804-1730.