Robert L. Smith, 94, a teacher, summer camp director, and passionate amateur golfer, died peacefully Tuesday at Ten Broeck Commons Nursing Home, in Lake Katrine, N. Y.
He had been in declining health recently, although he had been on a golf course just before his 94th birthday. He was best known as the owner and director, with his wife, Ruth, of Kingswood Camp, located in Pike, N. H., on Lake Tarleton, from 1946-1978.
Bob was born in Mount Vernon, N. Y., in 1919, and grew up in New Rochelle. He was the older son of Lawrence Patrick "Paddy" Smith, and Marie Mulligan Smith. Bob graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1938. An enthusiastic athlete and sports fan from his earliest days, Bob attended John Carroll University in, Ohio, on a hockey scholarship, graduating in 1942. He earned an M. A. in Physical Education at Columbia University in 1945. It was while there that he met Ruth Hawkins, of Darien, CT, who was then studying pediatric nursing. They married in 1947 and lived the early decades of their 63 year marriage in Larchmont, NY.
Bob found his life's calling when he began coaching high school sports while in college. Upon retirement, Bob & Ruth lived in Quechee, Vermont and Wellington, Florida.
In 1999, Bob and Ruth moved to Kingston, NY, to be near Lynn and her family. After Ruth's death in 2009, Bob moved to the Hudson Valley Senior Residence.Throughout their lives Ruth and Bob enjoyed many friendships with former students, campers and staff. They had a positive impact on the lives of many kids and young adults. Bob is predeceased by his parents, brother Thomas R. Smith, and his wife, Ruth.
He is survived by two sons, Thomas, and his wife, Laura, of Snowmass, CO, and Patrick Lawrence, of Norfolk, CT, and his daughter Lynn Dennison, and her husband, Bob, of Kingston; four grandchildren, Lily Larkin, and her husband Ryan, and Jake Smith of CO, and Andrew and Christopher Dennison.
The family will receive friends at the Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home, 411 Albany Ave, Kingston, on Friday, March 7, 2014 from 5-8 p.m.
A funeral service will be conducted on Saturday at 11:00 AM at St. John's Episcopal Church, 207 Albany Av, Kingston.
Interment will be private
Memorial gifts may be sent to St. John's Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1221, Kingston, NY 12402; Smile Train, PO Box 96231, Washington, DC 20090-6231or the activities program at the Hudson Valley Senior Residence., 80 Washington Av, Kingston, NY 12401
The family extends our gratitude to the staff of Hudson Valley Senior Residence and Ten Broeck Commons for their kind and compassionate care of Bob in these last years and months.