Robert Harold Smith

Robert Harold Smith


Robert Harold Smith, 78, of Madison, died January 3, 2022, of complications following emergency surgery. 

Bob was born in Findlay, Ohio on April 12, 1943, eight months after the death of his father, Captain Harold C. Smith, in a military plane crash early in World War II. Bob and his sister, Susanne, were raised by two strong women, their mother, Theodora Varner Smith, and their aunt, Hope Varner. In the early years, the family lived in Ohio, but in 1948 they moved west to the then small city of Tucson, Arizona, where Bob and Susanne enjoyed a happy childhood.  

Bob earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona, followed by a master's degree from Claremont Men's College in California, one of the five Claremont colleges. He also received an MLS degree from Arizona. Teaching on both the college and high school levels, Bob traveled and taught from California to Wisconsin and Missouri and back to Arizona.  In 2014, when sister Susanne and her husband, The Reverend Sam A. Tomlinson, moved from Natchez to St. Catherine's Village in Madison, Bob joined them in an apartment "just around the corner", making the big transition from Arizona to Mississippi. 

He was an active participant in the St. Catherine's Democrats. He was an enthusiastic and curious Episcopalian, serving as a long-time usher at a large church in Tucson before joining St. James' in Jackson. He was a member of the St. Catherine's Episcopal Chapel congregation and of St. Columb's Episcopal Church in Ridgeland at the time of his death. 

Bob is survived by his loving sister, Susanne, by his caring step-nephews William Tomlinson (Pauline) and Andrew Tomlinson (Jennifer), by a number of cousins, and by kind friends and neighbors at St. Catherine's. 

His life will be celebrated at a later date when the family can gather safely, with interment in the St. Columb's columbarium near the pet memorial garden where his two beloved cats, Blondie and Sandy, are remembered. 

Memorials to an animal charity or to a food pantry, two causes close to Bob's heart, would be welcomed.

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