Robert D. ‘Bob’ Smith Sr.January 25, 1932 — March 24, 2024

Robert D. “Bob” Smith Sr., age 92, passed away of natural causes at home.

Robert D. “Bob” Smith Sr., “Bob” age 92, passed away of natural causes at home. He was born on January 25, 1932, to Charlotte J. and Alvin A. Smith and raised in Hoquiam, Washington.

Bob enlisted in the Navy and later joined the Air Force. He was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane and reassigned to Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka until transferring to Smokey Hill Base in Salina, Kansas, where he met his future wife, Valeta. They married on June 7, 1953, in McPherson, Kansas.

After returning to the Harbor in 1953, Bob began sawing shingles for a living. After Bob and Valeta’s first son was born, they moved to Oregon. Bob continued working in several mills until two daughters were born in Coos Bay. They moved back to the Harbor in 1960 and settled in Aberdeen, rounding out the family with another daughter and son. In 1963, they all moved back to Hoquiam, Bob’s birthplace.

Bob began longshoring as a casual in 1963. His hard work and dedication earned him a spot in a B-registered group known as The Magnificent Seven. Bob became A-registered in 1970. He retired in 1994 and stayed involved with fellow longshoremen and friends. He enjoyed their weekly or monthly get-togethers for coffee, breakfast, and a friendly game of 4-5-6.

Bob spent time as a gillnet fisherman over the years, using the boat he built and named after his wife, Valeta. Besides fishing, Bob enjoyed water sports when he was younger and tried a few crazy stunts during his youthful days. He loved traveling and camping with his family and friends. He especially enjoyed road trips to Nova Scotia and Alaska, towing his 5th wheel.

Bob is survived by his wife, Valeta M. Smith; a son and daughter-in-law, David and Brenda Smith of Aberdeen; a daughter and son-in-law, Connie and Frank Raffelson of Westport; a daughter, Diana Smith of Montesano; a daughter, Laurie Smith of Bellingham; and a son, Robert D. Smith Jr., of Tonasket; three grandchildren, Stephanie, Steven, and Megan; and two great-grandchildren, Chase and Madison; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be on Monday, April 1, 2024, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Coleman Mortuary. A graveside service with military honors will follow at 2 p.m. at Hoquiam’s Sunset Memorial Park.

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