HOBBS, N.M. - Robert 'Bob' or 'R.J.T.' James Smith Sr., 74, followed his wandering star to his place of rest on Sept. 15, after a long illness.
Born on Jan. 6, 1936, in Newport News, to James Joseph and Marguerite Adelia Horton Smith, Bob graduated from Newport News High School and attended Virginia Military Institute. He answered his nation's call to service and served in the U.S. Coast Guard for twelve years. After briefly working as a drug store manager in Maine, his engineering training and love of land drew him to a long career in land surveying, which took him to many locations in the U.S. Later, he translated his surveying knowledge into archeology. He participated in multiple digs in New Mexico, including the Orogrande Man dig and the dig in which he found an Anasazi female which he named "Muffin." He retired in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Bob was a man of multiple talents and passions. He played football for Newport News High School and Virginia Military Institute and remained a sports enthusiast to the end. He loved airplanes and became an honorary colonel in the Confederate Air Force. He served as a B.S.A. scout master. When in Lexington, he "adopted" first year cadets from his beloved V.M.I. to give them a home away from home. He lent his rich baritone voice to several Baptist church choirs. Many family and friends were gifted with his artwork. He challenged others to expand their knowledge with games of Scrabble, and gifts of periodical clippings and books.
Bob is survived by his two children from his first marriage, Deborah Stanley-Chipperfield, of Gillette, Wyo., and Robert James Smith Jr., of Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; two grandchildren, Hunter Stanley and Moriah Stanley-Averett, of Gillette, Wyo.; three adopted sons from his second marriage; two nieces and three nephews; several great-grandchildren; and numerous extended family members. He is also survived by the love of his life, Susan, of Hobbs, N.M., and her four children and grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sisters, Delia Ann Smith (infant) and Kathleen S. Brown; and his brother, Albert H. Smith.
A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, in Clark Cemetery, Fox Hill by Dr. Cynthia Rosser Higgins.
Arrangements are under the care of R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, Hampton, Va. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at dailypress.com/guestbooks.
Published by Daily Press from Sep. 22 to Sep. 23, 2010.