Robert Joseph Smith

Robert Joseph Smith

June 11, 1943 - January 20, 2023

Robert Joseph Smith

June 11, 1943 - January 20, 2023


Robert Joseph Smith, loving husband, father, and grandfather, age 79, passed away on January 20th, after a very short illness, surrounded by family. Born in Washington DC on June 11, 1943, Bob moved to Gassaway as a young boy and then on to the west side of Charleston when he was 8. It was here that he met his future wife, Jane Calhoun, who he was married to for 57 years.

Bob graduated from Morris Harvey College and then went on to graduate law school from the University of Kentucky. His legal career spanned over 50 years with the majority of it spent in support of worker’s rights. Bob was an avid reader of all genres with a particular fondness for World War II and Civil War history. He enjoyed cooking for himself, family, and friends. He also enjoyed golfing. Anyone who knew him also knew him as someone who loved to banter back and forth with family, friends, and neighbors. He had a great sense of humor.
Most of all, he valued spending time with his family.

Bob is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Kim, son Jeff and his wife Kristin, his four grandchildren Noah, Avery, Cooper, and CoraJane, and his little dog Izzy who brought him tremendous joy in recent years.

The family will celebrate Bob’s life later in the Spring as he would have liked – telling jokes, drinking Pepsi, and eating burnt chocolate chip cookies.

The family would like to extend its tremendous gratitude to the nursing staff at 2 East at CAMC – Courtney, Megan, Emma, Makayla, and many others, his neighbor Angie, the staff at HospiceCare at CAMC, and the Rev. Sky Kershner at Unity of Kanawha Valley for helping him navigate this final journey with dignity and grace.

Condolences may be shared with the family at .

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, Charleston has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Celebration of Life

  • Venue: Coming Soon

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13 responses to Robert Joseph Smith

  1. Mike Kelly says:

    Bob was a delight to appear before. He had a model courtroom presence, was always well-prepared and treated everyone with respect and dignity. I won some and I lost some, but I can’t say Bob was ever wrong.

    My deepest sympathy to the family.

  2. I am so sorry, and shocked, to read of Bob’s death. Having been a labor lawyer for many years, and for the short time he had joined my firm, I was in and around Bob regularly. I found his company as enjoyable as any whom I have met and am grateful to have known him. So very sorry.

  3. Nick Johnson says:

    Jane and Smith family, I first met Bob as a fellow UK Law graduate when he came to share office space at the Union Building. We became friends quickly. I always admired him as a lawyer and as a contemporary. He was well respected and will be missed. I believe that I was blessed to have had the experience of working with him and knowing him. I knew him as a good man. Our prayers are with you.

  4. Deepest sympathy to Jane,all of his family and friends -we are sad that Reg has lost another golf buddy-he would come home with some of the funny sayings and laughs of their game each day-Bob was a great one of a kind guy -cherish the wonderful memories of days from the past-speak frequently of those memories-the next generations need to carry them on🌹

  5. To Jane and the family

    Bob was always such a gentleman even when in high school. We were in a lot of classes together. He was always ready to help with whatever was needed. High school and 57 years of marriage has given you Jane and the family lots of wonderful memories. You all are in my prayers. Rest in peace Bob.

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