Robert Dod Smith
Dec. 19, 1922 - Nov. 5, 2018
Robert Dod Smith passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 5, 2018. The Lord blessed him with a long and full life. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, December 8, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Bob, as he was called by all who knew him, was born to William Thomas Smith and Lillian Ruth Smith in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 19, 1922. After high school, Bob attended Stevens Institute of Technology and graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering followed by a Master's in Electrical Engineering. From 1944 -1946 Bob served in the United States Navy, and he was based in Chicago, then later in Washington, DC. The next year Bob married his best friend and love of his life, Lydia Luthmann, on November 15, 1947. Bob's career eventually led him to employment with E.I. DuPont in Niagara Falls, New York, where he and Lydia enjoyed living on Grand Island. During these years, they made lifelong friends, and they raised three children in a waterfront home on the East River. Together with neighbors and close friends, the family had fun swimming and boating in the summers and ice skating and snow skiing in the winters – along with getting plenty of exercise shoveling snow! While living on Grand Island, the family were members at St. Martin's in the Fields Episcopal Church, where Bob served as senior warden. Bob was always an avid reader and was asked to serve on the Library Board. As his children grew up, Bob joined with others to get a Little League program started and participated with his sons in Boy Scouts.
In 1971, Bob's job moved the family to Memphis, Tennessee. He was employed at the Memphis plant for 16 years and retired in 1985, after a career with DuPont for 32 years. During this time, Bob began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and continued his involvement for many years. The family were members of Holy Apostles Episcopal Church and Bob served in various ways during church services. He and Lydia spent much of their time supporting the high school activities of their children during these years. The family continued to find places where they could enjoy water activities and boating. They enjoyed weekends on lakes in Mississippi and went camping in the Smokey Mountains. They also began to take family vacations to Florida's Gulf Coast, eventually making Destin an annual trip and favorite place to be together for more than 30 years.
In 1987, Bob and Lydia moved to Waco, Texas, to be closer to their children and especially their four grandchildren. Now fully retired, Bob enjoyed volunteering in the community as a driver for Meals on Wheels, serving with Habitat Humanity as a board and crew member, at the Mayborn Museum. Bob served at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in many ways during these years. He was a junior warden, a member of the Vestry, a chalice bearer, lay reader and Eucharistic minister. He and Lydia would travel to Gatesville, Texas, where he was a Lay Vicar for St. George's Episcopal Church. Life in Waco also gave them a chance to cheer on the Baylor Bears, where his children, their spouses and some of the grandchildren attended. A favorite time was Baylor Homecoming, where they always gathered with family and friends for the parade. Bob and Lydia took many trips during these years and have fond memories of travels to Europe with Lydia's brother and his wife. Another memorable trip was to Turkey and Greece for the "In the Steps of Saint Paul" tour led by Dr. Bill Carden with St. Paul's Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, William Reinhardt Smith; and brother-in-law, Reinhardt F. Luthmann
.He is survived by his wife, Lydia, with whom he shared almost 71 years of marriage. Also surviving are children, Carol Smith Nowlin and husband, Bob, and Steven Richard Smith and wife, Luellen; and four grandchildren, Patrick Brian Nowlin and wife, Sharon, Trevor Dod Smith and wife, Kellen, Steven Cole Smith and wife, Emy, and Paige Nowlin High and husband, Hudson. Bob was blessed in the past year and a half to have four great-grandchildren born into the family: Eden Anne High, Elijah William Nowlin, Palmer Louise Smith and Sutton Eleanor Smith. Other survivors include his sister-in-law, Mary Margaret Luthmann; niece's family, Mary, Paul and Michael Laura; and nephew, Mark Luthmann and wife, Caroline.
The family wishes to express a special thank you to Uni Murphy at Lake Ridge Healthy Living and her staff for their wonderful care and friendship to our dad and our family in recent months. Memorials can be made to St. Paul's Church at 601 Columbus Avenue, Waco TX 76701, or Meals on Wheels at 501 Waco Drive, Waco TX 76707.
The family invites you to leave a message or memory in our "Tribute Wall" at www.WHBfamily.com.