Robert E. Smith
1921 - 2011
BORN
1921
DIED
2011
On May 12th 2011, Robert Edward Smith (Bob), just five months shy of his 90th birthday, passed away in Bend, Oregon.

Bob was a self proclaimed "simple farm boy from Norfolk, Nebraska," who grew up to be a man who simply enjoyed life.

His personal and professional curriculum vitae was long and varied. His studies took him from Norfolk to Harvard to Berkeley to USC, and eventually to UCLA where he earned his PhD in economics. He was a distinguished member of the faculties at the University of Utah and the University of Oregon. Bob was a passionate intellectual; forever questioning, thinking, and analyzing. Throughout his years in academia he touched many a life of both student and colleague. No one will ever forget Professor Smith, with his (hand tied) bow ties, his quick wit, and his steely blue eyes.

His life was rich with travel. In the 1940s he ventured to solitary Southern Utah. In the 1940s, 50s and 60s he explored the nascent California wine country. His academic travels took him to India, Pakistan, Japan, France, Switzerland and Washington DC. In 1962 he settled with his family in Eugene, where the Oregon coast became his favorite travel destination. After his retirement from the University of Oregon, he lived for many years in Portland, and spent his last four years at Touchmark in Bend.

Bob was genuine, humble, kind, honest and compassionate. He was a life-long dyed in the wool Democrat and a fearless supporter of the underdog. He read five newspapers daily and was the consummate chef and wine connoisseur. Throughout the years, Bob enjoyed nothing more than sharing his food and wine with good friends and family.

Despite his keen intellect, he possessed a childlike sense of wonder and curiosity. Even in the darkest of times he could so easily see the light and find contentment in the simplest of things.

He will be missed by his children more than words can express. He always had their best interests in mind, and he never gave up on their dreams. When tucking them in at night would always whisper "sleep tight," which they will continue to whisper back to him for all of their days.

Bob is predeceased by his parents, Frank and Cora Smith, and his son-in-law, Steve Ley. He is survived by his three children; Annie Ley, Brooke Smith and Christopher Smith; their mother, Cecilia Casey; his son-in-law, Kelly Ausland, and three grandchildren; Will Brewster, Elizabeth Brewster and Mimi Ausland. He will also be dearly missed by his companion and best friend, Mona Key, as well as by two very special women in his life, Arlene Johnson and Patty Burke. No services are planned, and in lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in the name of Robert E. Smith to KWAX Radio, Agate Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403 Please sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacy


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Published by Eugene Register-Guard on May 22, 2011.
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14 Entries
I was a TA for Bob in 1957 at the University of Utah. I learned so much from him that there is no way to recall it all. I respect him immensely.His institutional economics arguments were always sound and enlightening.
J. Kaye Faulkner
April 26, 2012
June 27, 2011
June 27, 2011
Bob, we will miss you immensely. You taught us about wine, about charisma, and that it is important to have a chair where it all doesn't happen. I will always be grateful for the day you stepped off that elevator and asked: "Do you like wine?" as an introduction. I answered: "Who doesn't?", and we became fast friends. You will always be one of our favorite people. Ugh...this news hurts. We really will miss you, Bob. Lots of love, Noel and Randy
Noel & Randy Ross
June 27, 2011
PROFESSOR Robert Edward Smith will always be remembered by the international students he taught at the UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. He was always the cheerful and kind-hearted Professor who shared his wisdom and profound knowledge with students of all races and nationalities. He gave us much more than professional knowledge, he gave us the HOPE that the future can be better with the pursuit of knowledge. He gave us much more than academic guidance, he gave us the INSPIRATION to learn meaningfully. He gave us much more than the joy of learning from him, he gave us the HAPPINESS that we can never,never,never forget.
PROFESSOR Robert Edward Smith was my Economics Honors Thesis Professorial Advisor in 1989. His fantastically profound economic intuition and penetrating insight of the global Political-economy inspired me to successfully complete my Economics Honors Thesis entitled : " The Economic Growth of Japan : A Model for South Korea and Taiwan."
We are eternally grateful to you PROFESSOR Robert Edward Smith.
--- by Mr JACK TENG HOCK CHEE - SINGAPORE (1986 to 1989) Bachelor of Science, Magna cum Laude & Economics Departmental Honors.
( [email protected] )
TENG HOCK CHEE
June 17, 2011
Professor Smith inspired me to major in economics as a UO sophomore in 1965-66. I took every class he offered during my undergrad and graduate days at Old Oregon. I will always remember his classroom presence, clarity of organization and presentation, and respect for students. We later worked together as economic consultants. He was my role model and mentor, and dear friend. I loved him, and I will always miss him.
Larry Ross
June 12, 2011
Professor Smith's teaching inspired me to major in economics as a UO sophomore in 1965-66. I took every class he offered during my undergrad and graduate days at Old Oregon. I will always remember his classroom presence, clarity of organization and presentation, and respect for students. We later worked together as economic consultants. He was my role model and mentor, and dear friend. I loved him, and I will always miss him.
Larry Ross
June 12, 2011
Everything I know about wine I learned in Econ 441 in the spring of 1992. Thanks Professor Smith.
E B
June 11, 2011
Professor Smith was my favorite teacher back in 1983-6. I never thought I would understand anything about anti-trust, monopoly, oligopoly but his lectures and coaching were so easy to follow and yet challenging. I remembered he kept asking me how to prononunce 'Lui', my last name, as he used to pronounce it as 'Louey', That was always our usual greeting before he would answer any Qs from me :) Dear Proessor, you will be misse.
Ming Rosita Lui (Hong Kong, graduate of 1986)
Ming Rosita Lui
June 10, 2011
I took only one economics class from Professor Smith for my MBA program in 85/86 and I could never forget him. The class was fun and challenging and I could still remember the content - well after 25 years, something only a great teacher can achieve.
James Chu
June 9, 2011
I took many Economics classes in the mid-80s with Bob Smith. Econ 101, 102, etc, I fondly remember him bringing a tin of tuna fish to class (un-opened) and announce the retail price and talk about everything that went into getting it to market for sale at just 47 cents. Thank you Bob. You will be missed.
Gene Gratton
June 9, 2011
What a guy, a truly remarkable human. Pleased I was able to get to know him to a degree. He was looking forward to his "journey" and based on the many he had in this realm he is surely on a grand adventure now.
Randy Rogers
May 29, 2011
He was about my dad's age and from what I read about him Robert Smith was my kind of a guy. Wish I had known him. His family has a lot to be proud of and to appreciate about his life. It seems he was a wonderful example of humanity and was someone to look up to. My heart goes out to the family.
Lee Boutell
May 27, 2011
Robert E. Smith was truly one of a kind.
He was my closest and dearest friend for more than half a century. He was one of the greatest chef's I have ever known. He taught me all I know. And when it came to wine no one was even close. He loved his wines and enjoyed sharing them with his friends. We will miss him. We will never forget him. My life was better for knowing Bob Smith.
Bob Rubenstein
May 23, 2011
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