Robert Harold "Bob" Smith

Obituary
  • "May the God of all comfort sustain your family during the..."

May 3, 2018 Bob was born in Cleveland, North Dakota. He was the only child of Harold and Mildred Smith. Harold was a gasoline distributor until the Great Depression. After Harold lost his job, the family moved frequently following work opportunities. Bob loved to reminisce about his first jobs as a teenager including picking potatoes for 5 cents per sack and helping a roofer lay shingles. He even tried being a cowboy for 75 cents a week but found that a horse and a bunch of cows were not much company. In 1941, Harold went to work at a temporary construction job on Wake Island in the Pacific Ocean. Shortly after his arrival the Battle of Wake Island ensued and he was captured by the Japanese. Harold was a prisoner of war for four years. During that time, Bob and his mother moved to Burbank, California to be close to relatives. Harold returned home in 1945, at the end of World War II, and joined his family in Burbank. Bob graduated from Burbank High School. In 1946, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and was assigned to Fukuoka Air Force Base in Japan. He was a cryptographic technician and learned code work. When his enlistment ended, Bob returned home and attended Woodbury Business College. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1951. He went to work for the State Board of Equalization in Southern California as an auditor. Later he transferred to Sacramento where he worked for the California State Controller's Office. He passed his CPA exam and went on to work for the Franchise Tax Board of California. He retired in 1991 as an administrator and Director of Internal Audit. Bob married his first wife, Violet Montgomery, in 1951. They had two daughters, Patricia O'Malley, who lives in San Jose, and Susan (Mike) Poland, of Oak View, California. They divorced in 1966. Bob married Mary Lou Salley in 1978. During retirement, Bob and Mary Lou spent many happy years traveling in their motorhome, fishing, and boating all over California. He enjoyed gardening and woodworking for as long as he was able. He often said one of his most rewarding accomplishments was building his own house in 1960. It still stands on Pratt Avenue in Citrus Heights. After spending his 90th birthday and 40th anniversary with Mary Lou, his two daughters, a stepdaughter and a granddaughter, Bob passed away peacefully a few days later from natural causes and complications of dementia. Besides Mary Lou, he is survived by his two daughters; two stepdaughters, Gwen (Earl) Schoen, Mary (Ted) Glum; and six grandchildren. The family would like to express our sincere thank you to the staff at the Memory Care Lodge at Eskaton Village Carmichael for their patience and kindness during the past 10 months. We are especially thankful for Jay Siegel, our Visiting Angel who spent many days and hours helping Bob and Mary Lou as Bob transitioned from independent living to memory care. Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. Bob will always bring us smiles through our memories of happy times.
Published in The Sacramento Bee from May 18 to May 20, 2018
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