Robert Bob Smiley
1948 - 2019
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Bob was born in Los Angeles, CA, on May 24, 1948 to Robert and Thursa Smiley, the second of two children, with an older sister, Susan.
His early years were spent in El Segundo, where he attended elementary school and began high school in Palos Verdes. His family moved to Avalon (Catalina) in 1963 before his sophomore year. He had a love for science and never let a good opportunity go to waste. Often times, probably to the town's dismay, he and his cohorts would conduct "experiments" at the city dump or drive the "Yuke" trucks at the quarry. Whether the stories about riding wagons down from the Summit at night or climbing the microwave tower were true, we'll never tell.
He graduated from Avalon High School in 1966 and soon afterward attended college at Long Beach City College and San Jose State. During that time, he discovered his love for skydiving and attained his FAA Senior Parachute Rigger's License (one of many licenses to come). He even made his own parachute.
During the summers, he would return to Catalina to work on the various boats for the Santa Catalina Island Company, the Blanche W and Phoenix Glass-Bottom Boats. There, he eventually met his wife, Pam. They married on June 28, 1975 at the Catalina Country Club.
Not long after, they moved to Seal Beach where he worked several years for Red Stack Tugs (Crowley Inc.) and Catalina Cruises. Eventually, they put down roots in Fountain Valley. Together, they raised one son and one daughter, Gregory and Samantha.
Bob's main focus was anything mechanical. Earning licenses for hazmat, mechanical, along with airframe & power plants, enabling him to start his career at Southern California Edison where he stayed for 30+ years. Even more certifications followed (air conditioning, brakes, smog, diesel engines, etc.). You name it, he did it.
Each new location with Edison brought about more opportunities to learn. Whether it be in Rosemead, Rancho Dominguez, San Onofre, and Pomona or back in Avalon. He took on with pride every assignment they gave him. He was the MacGyver of figuring things out.
After retirement, the projects never ceased. Various mopeds, motorcycles, small passenger cars (Subaru 360), and a Fleet Porter truck called his garage "home" where he happily worked away. His latest project was a '56 VW. There was never a day gone by that he didn't get his hands dirty. It really was his passion that started with his Honda Trail 90 as a member of the Islanders Motorcycle Club (IMC) in high school.
Bob always took the time to help out a friend with any problem, even those people he had just met. He could easily talk to anyone and did.
Even with all the travels, cruises, and trips around the world that they enjoyed together with family and friends over the years, the past never strayed far for both Bob and Pam. They relished the freedom of going to "The Island" and continued a residence there. Their life together started there and will always be an important part of their lives.
Bob is survived by his wife of 44 years, Pam; his two children, Gregory and Samantha; daughter-in-law, Shannon Smiley; son-in-law, Christopher Wiley; and three granddaughters, Cassandra, Alexis and Vivian.
Per his request, Bob wanted his ashes spread at sea outside Avalon Bay. The burial at sea and a Celebration of Life with family and friends is at the Hotel Metropole – Beach House on Saturday, June 15th.
We know many of you have wonderful memories of Bob or classic "Smiley" stories. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed. Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
May he forever rest in peace.

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Published in Catalina Islander from Jun. 14 to Jun. 15, 2019.
Celebration of Life
Hotel Metropole – Beach House
Memories & Condolences
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5 entries
July 26, 2019
Hello Pam,
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your husband. Very sad.... he was not that old and he sounds like he was a wonderful and special person. I am sure you feel his loss deeply. You are in our thoughts in this time of sadness. All the best to you.

Doug Shepardson
July 25, 2019

I was saddened to hear of Bod's death and we pray for his peaceful rest and solace for the family. If I can be of any help I can be reached at

Paul & Mary Kearney
July 4, 2019
My deepest condolences to the family, may you find comfort and strength from the god of all comfort in this difficult time (Isiah 25:8)
June 18, 2019
My condolences to the family on your loss. May the God of all comfort sustain you during this difficult time and beyond.
Sincerely, JD
June 14, 2019
As you remember your love one, as God heals your broken hearts (Psalm 147:3), may your cherished memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength to endure.
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