Robert's Story

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WILMINGTON, N.C. - Robert E. Smith Jr., 84, lately of Wilmington, North Carolina, died on Oct. 8, 2017.
Bob was born at Carbondale, Pennsylvania, in 1933, to the late Robert E. Smith and Evelyn Stark Smith of Sidney.
He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara of the home; brother, Stark (Sheila) Smith, Binghamton; sister, Juel Luscomb, Sidney; daughters, Marcy Smith, East Syracuse, Betsy Smith, Beacon; sons, Robert Smith, Oneonta, Stephen (Sharon) Reynolds, Gregory (Jill) Reynolds, both of Texas; a grandson; great-grandson; and many loving family and friends.
Bob attended Sidney Central School (Class of 1951) and graduated from the New York State Ranger School in 1953. He enlisted in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and after Infantry training, served in the Corps of Engineers as a topographic surveyor at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He was an instructor in the Army Engineer School at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia and map compilation specialist with the 29th Engineer Battalion in Japan. In 1959, Bob graduated with bachelor's degrees from the State University College of Forestry and Syracuse University. He earned master's degrees from these universities in 1960.
Bob worked as a soil scientist and forester with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In 1965, he joined the faculty at SUNY Delhi College and established a Plant Science Department where he directed the program and taught horticulture and conservation courses as Associate Professor until 1978.
Bob retired from the Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1994, where he served as a forester working on natural resources inventory. He and his wife, Barbara, lived for 20 years at The Cape, a residential community near the City of Wilmington, North Carolina.
In addition to his lifelong interests in natural science, land improvement, real estate and teaching, Bob had great interest in writing.
He was a prolific "letters to the editor" writer. He wrote essays on the environment, other political topics and cultural subjects; including a weekly column for a Carolina-Kure Beach newspaper under the byline "Sam Stark." Later he was a contributing editor with the Carolina Journal.
His essays "by R.E. Smith Jr." over several years appeared at the websites opinioneditorials.com and Americanthinker.com. He posted commentary on Squall Lines a blog site of the John Locke Foundation.
Bob called his website "State Lines by R. E. Smith Jr." (www.res33blog.com).
Funeral services will be held at Immaculate Conception Church, Wilmington, North Carolina, at 10 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 12. A graveside memorial service for family will be held in Sidney at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Lower Cape Fear Hospice or a charity of one's choice.
Condolences to the family may be made online at www.andrewsmortuary.com.
Published on October 10, 2017
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