Robert Smith 1937-2022

Robert LeRoy Smith was born to Marie Louise and Ernest Henry Smith on January 11, 1937, in Sydney, Nebraska, and passed away on Friday, November 25, 2022 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Robert attended many different schools before 3rd grade, at which time he started school in Eckley, Colorado. At that time, he first met his future wife Eleanor. When she returned home from school on Robert’s first day, she told her mother that she “didn’t know his name, but he sure was a ‘handsome brute’.” They would later date during high school, and were married on June 22, 1957.
Robert, in all, attended 14 different schools before the 4th grade. While this was difficult for him, it made him very adaptable at figuring out new situations and dealing with people. He was well liked by those who knew him. Being the oldest child, and the child of a very young mother, he enjoyed a great deal of freedom, and also responsibility for his younger brother and sisters.
During the summers, he helped on his family farm in South Dakota, by driving tractors and plowing fields (breaking sod) at age 13. He attended the Eckley schools from the fourth grade onward. During this time, he had two paper routes at the same time (Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News); he also was employed to meet the railroad train at 2 am to deliver mail and packages into the post office; and he worked in his father’s auto repair shop. He was particularly fond of his grandfather, William Henry Smith, who lived with his family, and his aunt Viola Iola (Smith) Korrel; both helped make his family a stable place to grow up after the family moved to Eckley. He was the Vice President of his High School Senior Class, with his future wife serving as President.
Upon graduation from Eckley High School in 1956, he relocated to Platteville, Colorado, working at a gas station, to be closer to Eleanor who attended Colorado State College of Education, at Greeley, Colorado (currently known as UNC). After their marriage he worked at Midwest Steel & Iron Works in Denver, Colorado, while they lived in Lafayette, Colorado. He then served in active duty in the U.S. Army from April 1959 to April 1961, serving as an ammunition helper, with the 23d Ordnance Company, at the U.S. Army Badenerhof Kaserne base near Heilbronn, Germany. After he and his wife bought their first house in Eckley, he was recalled to active duty, because of the Berlin Crisis of 1961, serving at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army post in El Paso, Texas. After the army, Robert worked at the TB Groves John Deere Implement dealership in Wray, Colorado; eventually he was put in charge of the shop. He then farmed and ranched with Harold Riffle. While still farming, he started a custom hay cubing business, along with his brother, Clifford Smith. Robert also started an aerial crop spraying business near Schramm, Colorado. In 1979 Robert and Eleanor ­­established an auto parts store and machine shop, in Riverton, Wyoming. In 1987, along with his wife and sons, he started an educational video production company based in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In 1989 he and his wife purchased farm land near Carpenter Wyoming and once again returned to farming for the next 11 years. He farmed with his son, Kurt, during the 1993-1995 seasons, which was very special time for him and Kurt, which they both cherished. Robert made a final retirement from farming in 2000.
Robert was generous with his time and enjoyed trips to the mountains with his wife and later with his young family. Later, he enjoyed hunting with his sons, during the fall months. Robert was very active in his faith, giving the Sunday talk in congregations in at least 23 different cities in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Wyoming, visiting most of those congregations multiple times. He baptized his son Kurt in 1987 and preformed the marriage ceremony of his son Wade and daughter-in-law Andrea Joy Smith in 1993, in Fort Collins, Colorado. He performed a graveside ceremony for his mother-in-law Ellen in 2005.
Robert survived an aortic aneurism repair in 2007, stage four prostate cancer and chemotherapy in 2016 and 2017, and a broken femur in 2019; he died peacefully of renal failure at Davis Hospice Center, in Cheyenne, Wyoming at the age of 85. Robert remained ambulatory and at home with family until the last 3 days of his life.
Robert is preceded in death by parents Ernest Henry and Marie Louise Smith; one brother, Clifford Eugene Smith; and two sisters, Barbara Jean (Smith) Prather, and Deana Mae (Smith) Gilstrap.
He is survived by his wife Eleanor Smith; and two sons Wade Smith and wife Andrea of Fort Collins, Colorado, and Kurt Smith; and many nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place at Schrader, Aragon & Jacoby Funeral Home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.