CARY, N.C. — Robert Frazier Smith, 82, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on July 2, 2013 in Cary, N.C., after a brave battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Bob was born April 5, 1931 in Royal Oak, Mich., the first child of Rossman and Mary (Freeland) Smith. He attended schools in Bel Air, Md., Pascagoula, Miss., and Northport, Mich. during World War II years when his father served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps. After graduating from Royal Oak High School, he attended Reed College in Portland, Ore. He worked as a physicist at Hanford Atomic Works in the state of Washington before enlisting in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Captain.
On Sept. 12, 1959, Bob married Phyllis Aho in Stambaugh, Mich., whom he’d met at Michigan State University. They have three children. Robert, Jr. (Melinda) of Beverly Hills, Mich., Philip (Terry), of Cary, N.C. and Autumn (David) Kramer of Frankfort, Mich. There are nine grandchildren; Katelyn Smith, Shannon Smith, Mary Smith, Cassaundra Kramer, Brendan Smith, Jacob Kramer, Kevin Smith, Bobby Smith, and Amanda Smith.
Bob taught psychology at MSU while completing course work for a master’s degree. Bob then took over the family medical supply and analytical chemical business in Royal Oak, Mich. that was established by his grandfather in 1909. He was active in Kiwanis and served as a counselor in the youth probation program begun by Judge Keith Leenhouts that was followed throughout the nation. In 1978, he moved the business, Diack, Inc., to Beulah, Mich. Bob served on the Frankfort Zoning Board of Appeals for decades, mostly as its chairman, on the Frankfort Airport Authority, Rotary International, as Benzie County Commissioner for 14 years, and on the board of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority. Bob helped establish national standards on infection control and wrote a monthly infection control newsletter for hospital infection control supervisors. Bob helped many individuals quietly, evidenced in thank you notes found in his documents.
Bob is survived by his wife of 53 years and his children. Also surviving are brother, Rossman W. Smith, Jr. (Marilyn) of Calif. and Nev., and sisters; Autumn Lewis (Russell) of Colo. and Fla., Lucinda Cuprisin (John) of Ariz., and Linda Dianne Comer of Calif. He leaves numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and cousins. Always willing to help his children and extended family, Bob, as the family patriarch, is remembered for his generosity and loving support.
Plans for honoring this special life have not been decided. Memorials may be sent to: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Church St. Station, P.O. 780, New York, NY 10008.
We are compiling stories for a “memories” book about Bob. If you would like to share any memories please forward them to email@example.com.