Robert Russell Smith


Robert Russell Smith passed away after a short illness at the age of 88 on Thursday, May 29, 2014, in his Palm Springs home.

He is survived by his children, Ron, Greg and Terisa, and daughter-in-law, Chris; his grandchildren, Erin, Isaac, Diana, Lisa and Paul; and his foster son and wife, Jim and Rose Smith.

Bob was born Nov. 29, 1925. He grew up in Los Angeles where he graduated from Hamilton High School. He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served as a bombardier on a B17, flying in more than 20 missions over Germany during World War II.

After serving his term in the service, he enrolled in Northrop University, earning a bachelor’s degree in business. He met his wife, Gwen, on campus. They were happily married for 62 years until her passing in 2009.

After he graduated, they moved to Indio, where he opened his own furniture store, Desert Furniture, which he operated successfully for 30 years.

After he retired, he and his wife divided their time between their Palm Springs and Idyllwild homes. He enjoyed membership at the Idyllwild American Legion Post 800 for many years and was active in his Palm Springs community.

Bob was loved by all who knew him. He had a quick mind, a lively sense of humor, an infectious laugh and a reservoir of homespun wisdom. He loved life, was an eternal optimist and demonstrated great resilience throughout his life. He had a natural talent for making people feel comfortable and valued. His family and friends carry his memory with great love and respect.

Funeral services are at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Wiefels Palm Springs Mortuary, 690 S. Vella Road, Palm Springs, CA 92264.