February 20, 1940-
March 26, 2019
Fortson, Georgia- Robert R. Smith COL, USA, Retired and Professor Emeritus passed away after a long illness at his home in Fortson, Georgia surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Rahway, New Jersey to Ralph and Catherine (Reed) Smith. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Margaret (Land) Smith of Columbus Georgia, his children Jennifer McCann (Patrick) of Macedonia, Ohio, Matthew Smith (Kathleen) of Birmingham, Alabama and his grandsons, Reed and Noah Smith, along with many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Catherine and his sister Adele (Smith) Hagenson.
Bob graduated from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York where he was selected as outstanding Army ROTC Cadet Colonel. Upon graduation he began his military service on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Korea where he served in the 1st Calvary Division filling multiple roles (Infantry Platoon Leader, acting Infantry Company Commander, Adjutant S1 and 3rd Brigade Liaison Officer). Upon his return to the States he was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia as Assistant Confinement Officer, then Confinement Officer and finally served in the capacity of Chief of the Corrections Division. He served for seven years active duty and 23 years U.S. Army Reserves. During his military service he received a master's degree and doctorate from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Throughout his tenure in the reserves he served in various assignments, culminating as the Commandant of the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Cross Lanes, West Virginia retiring as a full colonel. His awards and decorations include a Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with five oakleaf clusters and Army Commendation Medal with five oakleaf clusters.
His civilian career was in academia. He received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts and a master's in science education from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, a master's in correctional administration and criminology from American University, Washington, DC and a doctorate in counselor education and psychology from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. He was a licensed, board-certified counselor in West Virginia. He had 30 years of experience working with juvenile and adult offenders in a variety of positions. He was the author of numerous academic journal articles, books and book chapters on topics ranging from the use of home furlough in the United States to the applications of Rational Cognitive Therapy and behavioral modification with offenders. He was past president of the American Association for Correctional Psychology. He was editor of The Correctional Psychologist, and the president, board chair and executive editor of The International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology Newsletter.
His tenure included two years as associate professor at Troy State University in Troy, Alabama, two years as associate professor at Auburn University at Montgomery in Montgomery, Alabama and 24 years as professor of counseling at Marshall University Graduate College, South Charleston, West Virginia where he coordinated the correctional counseling emphasis from 1979 until his retirement in 2003. He was known for his energetic teaching style and the concern he showed for both students and the community.
His was a life well lived. He loved drum and bugle corps and spent his youth performing in numerous corps. As an adult he continued to coach and support multiple corps, it brought him great joy. He was a member of The Church of the Holy Family and embraced his faith fully and in everything he did. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of the John B. Amos Cancer Center, Home Instead Senior Care and Preferred Care Hospice for their loving and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers the family asks for donations to the John B. Amos Cancer Center, 1831 5th Avenue, Columbus, GA 31904 or The Church of the Holy Family, 320 12th Street, Columbus, GA 31901.
A Rosary Service followed by visitation will be Friday, March 29, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 4071 Macon Road, Columbus, GA. Funeral Mass will be Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 12:00 noon at The Church of the Holy Family, 320 12th St, Columbus, GA 31901.