Robert Joe Smith, age 86, passed away Sunday, September 12, 2021. Nearly a life-long resident of Oak Ridge, Bob was born, April 13, 1935, in Winfield, Alabama, and came to Oak Ridge with his parents as a young boy. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1953. As a young man, he joined the U.S. Army with some of his military training occurring in the Chicago area where he met his wife of nearly 64 years, Rae Moschel Smith. After marrying Rae, Bob was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, where he served as a military instructor for the Nike Missile Training Program for a few years. After returning to Oak Ridge, he was employed by the United States Postal Service and continued to serve the country as a member of the National Guard. Bob was a long-time member of Trinity United Methodist Church and in recent years, a member of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. Bob was known to many as a volunteer coach with the Oak Ridge Boys Club and the Oak Ridge Senior League Baseball Association. He also served the Oak Ridge High School football program as a long-time volunteer equipment manager. Bob received a Distinguished Service Award for his “unselfish devotion and distinguished service” from Oak Ridge High School in 1984. He was inducted into the Oak Ridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and he received the George L. Hunter Community Service Award for service to local athletic programs from the East Tennessee Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Mildred Smith, brother Tommy Smith, and nephew Lynn Smith.
He is survived by his wife, Rae; son and daughter-in-law, Scotty and Marilyn Smith; and son and daughter-in-law, Robby and Lisa Smith; grandson, Nathan Smith; granddaughter, Natasha and husband, Crimson Radin; granddaughter, Natalie, and husband, Nathan Schick; great-grandson, Elisha Peter Schick; sister-in-law, Glenda Smith; and niece, Tammy Smith Waggett.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the Oak Ridge Boys Club at bgcor.org or the Tennessee Out-Reach Center for Homeless (TORCH) at oakridgetorch.org. The family will receive friends from 12:30 to 2:30 pm Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Weatherford Mortuary. Funeral services will follow at 2:30 pm with Rev. Jenny Caughman officiating. An online guestbook is available at weatherfordmortuary.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert Joe Smith please visit our Tribute Store.