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Robert L. Smith (Bob)

Alexandria, SD

1939, 791, Lightning Creek, F-14 Member

Robert L. "Bob" Smith, 82, Nampa, died Sunday, May 29, 2005, in a Nampa, ID care center. Vigil services will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, 2005, at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So., Nampa. Funeral mass will be celebrated at 1 p.m., Thursday, June 2, 2005, at St. Paul's Catholic Church, 1515 Eighth St. So., Nampa. Burial with military honors will follow in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise.

He was born Dec. 5, 1922, in Slayton, Minn., to Lincoln and Evangeline Lingen Smith. He was the second oldest of 15 children. He grew up in Hansen County, S.D., and graduated from high school in Alexandria in 1940. He then joined the Civilian Conservation Corps and spent 15 months with his older brother Lyndell in the Forest Service camp in Custer, S.D.

In September 1941, a marine recruiter came along and Bob and his brother both signed on. Another brother who was attending high school in Alexandria also signed on. The three of them wanted to see the world. They were on a weekend pass in Santa Monica, Calif., when Pearl Harbor was bombed. They all spent the next 41 months in the South Pacific. They returned to San Diego and were honorably discharged in December 1945. When Bob returned to South Dakota, he helped organize a company of the 109th engineers.

September 1, 1950, they were once again activated during the Korean war to Fort Carson, Colo., and then to Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was discharged in the summer of 1951.

He married Wilma Sladek April 20, 1953, in Chamberlain, S.D. To this union were born two sons, Stephen and Andrew.

Bob worked at the Marshall Wells store in Chamberlain, S.D. until 1955 and then worked at St. Joseph's Indian School for 17 years. The family moved to Ontario, OR where they owned and operated a motel. After selling the motel, they bought a small farm where they lived until they moved to Payette.

They moved to Nampa, ID in 1998.

They enjoyed spending winters as snowbirds in Arizona. Bob was an avid gardener and always had extra produce for his friends and neighbors. He enjoyed golf and fishing and a good game of cards. Bob never met a stranger.

He was a charter member of the Chamberlain Lions Club and worked up to deputy district governor in District 5 SW. He was also a member of the Payette Lions Club.

Bob is survived by his wife, Wilma, Nampa; two sons, Stephen (Leslie) Smith, Fruitland, and Andrew Smith, Nampa; a grandson, Matthew (Kati) Smith, Bend; two step-grandchildren, Chaz Gentry and Coleman Gentry, Fruitland; three brothers, Milton (Helen), Missoula, Mont., Alcy (Virginia), Yakima, Wash., and Richard (Jean) of Tipton, Kan.; three sisters, Angela (Richard) Taylor, Columbia Falls, Mont., Barbara Reinhart, Bridgewater, S.D. and Virginia (Gary) Wenande, Ouray, Colo.; and many nieces and nephews.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers and three sisters.

Bob and Lyndell SmithEvidence suggest that the brothers may have served at Roubaix in 1940.

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