Robert J. Smith, 77, of Rockford, Ill., and formerly of Rhinelander, died on June 18, 2012, at the Hernando Pasco Hospice in New Port Richey, Fla. He was born Aug. 28, 1934, in Laona, to Roger and Nellie (Ackerman) Smith.
Bob graduated from Rhinelander High School in 1952 then served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including a year as a weatherman in Greenland. He worked at Frasier’s Plumbing & Heating and Lakewood Mechanical in Rhinelander, and Shopex Furniture in Park Falls. After moving to Rockford, his passion for woodworking led him to start his own furniture-building business, The Village Smith. He ended his work career as head of maintenance at St. Elizabeth’s Community Center in Rockford. He loved the outdoors, especially fishing and rock collecting, and he wrote many short stories about his adventures.
Bob is survived by his wife, Sue of Rockford; son, Brian (Olive) Smith of Rhinelander; daughters, Bobbie (Eric) Rench of Kenosha, Becky (Chuck) Miller of Rhinelander, Barb Bardi in Germany, Kathy Hoffman and Kris Hoffman of Rockford; 9 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, plus one on the way; and a brother, Jerry (Vicki) of New Port Richey, Fla. He was preceded by his parents; two brothers, Les Smith and Ken Smith; a sister, Maxine Pospychala; and a grandson, William Ross Smith.
A memorial service celebrating Bob’s life will be held on July 9, 2012, at 3 p.m., at Heartland Community Church in Rockford, Ill. Visitation is at 2 p.m.