Bobby Lee Smith, 75, of Abilene, Texas, passed away peacefully on Saturday, December 22, 2012, at Abilene Regional Medical Center surrounded by family and friends.
Bobby was born in Williamson, on April 7, 1937, to Mr. Walter and Nellie Virginia Smith.
At an early age of 17 he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to Company C, 33rd Infantry Regiment at Fort Kobbe in the Panama Canal zone. After three years in the Army, Bobby transitioned to service in the Air Force, retiring after 20 years. Throughout his Air Force career, Bobby traveled the globe, participated in the Vietnam War, and while stationed in Thailand, met Yindee, the mother of his three children, David, Lynn, and Sandra.
Bobby retired from military service in January of 1977. After working just a short year for the City of Abilene, he continued his federal service with the U.S. Post Office, retiring in September of 1998 with 20 years.
Bobby was loved by all that knew him which included his many friends along his route and looked forward every year to being showered with all kinds of goodies during the holidays. He often boasted that the dogs on his route loved him and even after being bit by one of “his” dogs on his route, Bobby would laugh at how he eventually “won him over”.
Bobby was very proud of his Irish heritage and when St. Paddy’s day came around he would dye his hair green and wear his 4 leaf clover hat. In retirement, Bobby’s favorite past time was bowling, developing a reputation among the community throughout the years as an expert bowler. He was also a lifetime member of the VFW, Post 6873. You could always be sure to find him there, sitting on his favorite barstool. He loved his family and his friends and was very proud of his three children. He will be missed by many.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Walter and Nellie Smith; brother, Charles Smith; sister, Shirley Acord; and son, Stephen Smith.
Bobby is survived by his wife Maly; his son, David Smith of Columbus, GA; his two daughters, Lynn Grothe and her husband, Clay of Abilene and Sandra Cole and her husband, Charles of Mooresville, NC; his two step-daughters, Ratana and Ratha; his grandchildren, Michael Grothe, Brenton Smith, Amberly Grothe, and Brianna Cole and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the many doctors and nurses who shared in Bobby’s care especially nurses Charlene and Amber for making his last days as comforting to him as well as the family. We thank God for the gift of life and the blessing of the time we spent with him. He is interred at Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Abilene, Texas.