Robert James Smith ’42

Robert James Smith , 94, son of Robert James and Elizabeth Shepherd Smith, died September 7, 2014, at the Cypress of Charlotte. He was born April 13, 1920, and was a life-long resident of Charlotte. Bob attended Central High School, Class of 1938, where he played on four state championship teams. He continued to excel in sports at Davidson College as an end on the football team and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was a member of the SAE fraternity and made their All American team his senior year. After graduation from Davidson College in 1942, Bob joined the U.S. Coast Guard and attended officers training school in New London, Connecticut.

During World War II he was the ranking officer aboard the USS Ontonagon and served in the Atlantic and Pacific arenas. After Bob’s discharge from the military, he joined his father at Smith Sales Corporation and continued there until his retirement. Bob was a faithful member of Myers Park Presbyterian Church since childhood and served the church as a Deacon, an Elder and a Senior High advisor. Through the years he volunteered with Loaves and Fishes, Friendship Trays and Alexander Children’s Home. He also coached Little League Baseball for many years. Bob was a former member of the Charlotte Country Club and The Touchdown Club.

He was an avid follower of Davidson College athletics his entire adult life and was a past President of the Davidson Alumni Association for Mecklenburg County. Bob will always be remembered for his loyalty and devotion. He had a quiet, humble strength and was a true southern gentleman. He was a people person who never met a stranger and who unselfishly put others’ needs first. His unconditional love for Betty Scott, Betsy, Nancy, his sons-in-law and his four grandsons was exemplary.

Bob is survived by his wife of 67 years, Betty Scott Barber Smith; and his daughters, Betsy Smith Weaver (Curtis) of Greensboro and Nancy Smith Baccich (Thorn) of Charlotte; along with his grandchildren, George Curtis Weaver, Jr. (Anne), Robert Scott Weaver, Charles Thorn Baccich, Jr. (Laura) and Wade Barber Baccich; and two great-grandsons, Thomas Schoch Weaver and George Curtis Weaver, III. Also surviving are brothers-in-law, Ed Holmes and Wade Barber (Marina), and sister-in-law, Margaret Smith. He was preceded in death by his sister, Elizabeth Ann Smith Bertini and brother, the Reverend Dr. Harvey Howard Smith.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, September 11th, at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, 2501 Oxford Place. The family will receive friends at the church following the service. A private interment service will be held at Elmwood Cemetery.

Heartfelt thanks is expressed to Compassionate Care of Charlotte for their excellent caregivers: Mary Payne, Gayle Hall, Judy Hautau, Lisa Hoban and Bruch Bucholtz.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Myers Park Presbyterian Church, P. O. Box 6160, Charlotte, NC 28207 or Davidson Athletic Fund, Box 7172 Davidson, NC 28035. Condolences may be offered at