Robert “Bob” Arden Smith, 1937-2018

Robert “Bob” Arden Smith, 1937-2018

The family and friends of Bob Smith celebrate a man of faith and love, now at rest in his eternal home. Bob was born on July 19, 1937, and died Dec. 18, 2018.

Bob lived a life of adventure. He grew up in Colorado and Wyoming and, as a young adult, enjoyed ranch work and riding Brahma bulls at rodeo. Bob drove an armored car and often recalled those million-dollar runs, wielding his six-shooter. He also worked for the post office and loved telling about the night the baby alligators chewed through a package and escaped into the mail room. Bob was also a shepherd on the Wyoming prairies, where he slept in a sheep wagon and each morning had to kick his boots loose from the frozen floor.

At Colorado State College, he met his wife, Mary Lou, with whom he would share 53 beautiful years. They accepted teaching jobs after graduation, together moving to a small town they knew nothing about, Tehachapi. (The recruiter described it as a resort town with great fishing and near a ski area!) Here, they nurtured thousands of local kids and adopted two children of their own, Krista and Keith. Bob taught for 30 years in the Tehachapi Unified School District, supporting its special education, enrichment and art programs. As an anatomical donor to USC’s medical program, Bob extends his teaching legacy beyond death.

Bob loved exploring, fishing, prospecting and travel. During summer breaks, the family ventured out in their motor home, traveling from border to border throughout the U.S., Canada, Alaska and Mexico. Bob visited many countries, carried Bibles to Russia and China, and resided a while in Germany and Hawaii.

In later life, Bob was a devoted mentor and prayer warrior. Challenged with Parkinson’s disease for 31 years, Bob called the debilitating illness his “blessing.” He sought out and assisted others with the disease, even as his own mobility deteriorated. Bob also supported many children in impoverished nations around the world, funding their education, playing pen pal, and encouraging their faith.

Bob’s love of life, sense of humor, and kindness are treasured by many: wife Mary Lou Smith of Tehachapi, Calif.; daughter Krista (Smith) Dana, son-in-law Matt, and grandson Drew of Park City, Utah; son Keith Smith, daughter-in-law Pam, and grandchildren Kameron and Justin of Jacksonville, Florida; Chrystelle Anderson and family of Pensacola, Florida; the Robbins Family of Laramie, Wyoming; the Manlove Family of Colorado Springs; the Higdon Family of Bakersfield, Calif.; the Swift Family of Olathe, Kan.; the Hamlin Family of Frankfort, N.Y.; and the congregation of Tehachapi Nazarene Church. In his last hours of life, Bob learned he will be a great-grandfather. God is good!

Please join us on Sunday, Jan. 6, as we celebrate Bob’s life. An Orange Popsicle Party will follow regular service at Tehachapi Nazarene Church. Service begins at 10:45 a.m., reception to follow at 12:15 pm. In lieu of flowers, please sponsor a child or support a clean water initiative at

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