March 27, 1944 - Nov. 12, 2013
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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Robert "Rob" H. Smith, IV, 69 of Fairfield. Rob passed away on Nov 12, at home with his wife, Gail at his side. Rob was an avid duck hunter, tennis player, world traveler and above all, the most dedicated and loyal friend anyone could ask for.
Rob and his twin sister, Maureen were born on March 27, 1944 in Vallejo. Rob attended St. Basils Grammar School, St. Vincent's High School in his freshman year and graduated from Vallejo High School, class of 1962. Rob attended University of the Pacific in Stockton; Vallejo Junior College and graduated from UC Davis in 1966. After college, Rob served in the California National Guard and the US Army Reserve. Rob spent some time as a substitute teacher at both Vallejo and Benicia High Schools. During the late 1970s, Rob was co-owner of the Commandant's Residence, a restaurant in Benicia, where he had many fond memories. In the 1980s, Rob worked for McMasters & Westland, selling commercial real estate before he went on to get his broker's license and become a partner in his own company, Approved Realty in Concord.
Rob was proud of his Native American heritage, a descendant of the Chetco tribe of Southwestern Oregon and he used this lineage to gain access to Alactraz Island while it was occupied by Indians of All Tribes during the late 1960s. He had many great memories of his days living in San Francisco and Sausalito in his twenties and later, of living in the apartment he maintained in the Anderson Hotel (also known as the Old Pink Palace) in Benicia.
Rob was a co-owner of the Sprigsville Ranch, on Grizzly Island in Fairfield, where he spent many hours fishing and duck hunting with his buddies, family and his dogs, Bogey and Bella. Rob was an active member of the Elks Club, #559 in Vallejo, for the last 50 years. Rob joined the American Legion, Post 101 in Benicia and became actively involved in the selection process for the Boys State youth program. He was a member on the Rancho Solano Tennis Team in Fairfield and was a popular part of the tennis community at the Millennium Sports Club. Rob loved going on "Rod Runs" with Gail, an organized event held every few months where a group of buddies from high school would caravan their old cars to a specific location each time for lunch and cocktails - Rob drove his prized 1965 Chevy Impala SS, the newest car of the bunch. Rob was a long time San Francisco 49er fan and more recently a San Francisco Giants fan as well. In the recent years, Rob and Gail and their traveling companions, Ned and Elane Coon, visited Vietnam, Europe, and New Zealand. They also enjoyed multiple trips with Vickie Bentley and Terry Connelly to Alamos and Zihuatanejo, Mexico.
Rob leaves behind his wife, Gail Bradford-Smith, and his two daughters, Christina Smith of Concord and Madeline Smith of Berkeley. Rob also leaves behind his sister, Kathleen Gless of Los Angeles and her husband Michael, their daughter, Bridgette and her husband Paul Keller of Los Angeles; and son Kevin Gless of Tucson, AZ; Rob's brother in law, Paul Bleignier of Phoenix, AZ and nephew, Robert Tarbox of Campbell and his wife, Debbie, and their two children, Michael and Natalie Tarbox. Rob's sister in law, Joyce and her husband, Jim Coggburn of Fairfield and their children, Jimmy Coggburn of San Diego and Jennifer Coggburn of Fairfield and her daughter, Abigail Dacus. Preceding him in death, were his twin sister, Maureen Bleignier and his parents, Mary and Robert H. Smith, III. Rob leaves behind many cousins, in laws, step family, the mother of his daughters, Paddy Poupeney of Moraga and countless loved and cherished friends who no doubt will miss him greatly.
The family would like to thank Kaiser Hospice services for their kind and loving care during the last weeks of Rob's life.
A rosary service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m., at Twin Chapels Mortuary, 1100 Tennessee St., Vallejo. A memorial Mass will be held on Monday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m., at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 1050 N. Texas St., Fairfield.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to California Waterfowl Association on Rob's behalf. Donations can be made to California Waterfowl Association, 1346 Blue Oaks Boulevard, Roseville, CA 95678 or made online at https://www.calwaterfowl.org/Donate-online .
Cremation and arrangements entrusted to the direction and care of Twin Chapels Mortuary, Vallejo (707) 552-6696. www.TwinChapelsMortuary.com
Twin Chapels Mortuary
1100 Tennessee Street Vallejo, CA 94590
Published in TimesHeraldOnline on Nov. 15, 2013