ROBERT (BOB) E. SMITH passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, May 7, 2023 at his home in Goliad, Texas at the age of 91. To say that he was loved would be an understatement.
Bob was born on December 22, 1931 in Willacy County (Lyford), Texas to Fain and Estella (Young) Smith. He was the second child of the family, bemoaning that he was always “the middle child.” Bob was a child of the depression and shared the many lessons that he learned from that experience.
His lifelong dedication to education began with graduation from Lyford High School in 1949. Bob attended Texas A & I University – Kingsville earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Education/Educational Administration while on a football scholarship for 5 years. He was a four-year letterman and outstanding tackle for the Javelinas. After graduation Bob coached and taught in Kingsville and in the Rio Grande Valley from 1954 to 1962 and served in various administrative roles from 1962 to 1972.
Bob began his career in Aransas Pass as High School Principal in 1972. He served in this position until his first retirement in 1990. During those 18 years as principal, he earned the nickname “Bullet Bob” because of his no-nonsense rules and standards, encouraging all students to live up to their fullest potentials and his refusal to accept mediocrity. Over the years so many of his former students returned to thank him for the tremendous impact that he had on their lives. He was always so touched by their kind words.
In January, 1991 he accepted the position of Superintendent of Schools in Aransas Pass. During his tenure as superintendent, he brought many new innovations and programs to the district. Bob was especially proud that the district was able to build an elementary school without having to pass a bond election. In May, 1998 Bob retired a second time after 44 years as an educator. He then began an entirely new career that brought him such joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction. He was a country boy at heart.
In 2004 Bob and his wife Linda purchased a small ranch in Goliad, Texas forming B and L Cattle. At the time of his death, he was an active member of Beefmaster Breeders United. In 2018 Bob and Linda were named “New Breeder of the Year” for the Live Oak Beefmaster Breeders Association. They recently won the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo “Open Heifer Division” at the Beefmaster Subasta. Bob made many new friends through his participation with Beefmasters Breeders, serving on several different committees. Bob enjoyed his time on his ranch’s front porch watching his cattle graze in the pasture and visiting with old and new friends alike. He watched the ranching world go by on that front porch - cowboys in trailers hauling horses and cattle going to work.
Bob’s world revolved around his family. He was a devoted son and brother, a doting father and grandfather, and a loving husband. He showed his love, not by words, but by example. He taught us all how to be better people. We were blessed to be “Bob’s family.”
Bob is survived by his devoted wife of 37 years, Linda (Knesek) Smith, his son Scott (Jennifer), his daughter-in-law Tonya and his treasured grandchildren Robert Colton and Kelsey Ann Smith. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and their families.
Bob is proceeded in death by his parents, his sister Wanda (Homer) Fassler and his brother Joe Ed. Bob’s greatest heartbreak was the passing of his three sons Rusty, Randy, and Ricky Smith.
Visitation with the family will be on Friday, May 19 from 6 to 9 pm. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, May 20 immediately followed by a reception for family and friends. Visitation, services and reception will be at Charlie Marshall Funeral Home, Aransas Pass, Texas.
Donations in Bob’s honor may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” Stephen Grellet