Bobby D. Smith, of Huntsville, Ala., died Dec. 16, 2014. Bobby has gone home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Bobby was born in Chamblee, Georgia to M.E. and Inez Smith in 1929. He went to the Citadel at the age of 16 and following graduation served in the Air Force for 35 years retiring as a Colonel. He was initially assigned to Keesler Air Force Base and later to various bases around the world. His final assignment was Commander, Defense Communications Agency at Scott AFB, Illinois. Following his retirement from the Air Force in 1985, Bobby served 15 years as the Dyncorps Corporation lead for communication services for the Department of the Treasury. He was married for 63 years to “His darling” Joan Anderson Smith. They were both professional water skiers in the 1950s. Bobby was a consummate communicator and an old school gentleman who served the nation and his family with both grace and wit. Bobby earned his black belt in karate in his sixties along with his grandson Bryan. He also taught Tai Chi for two decades up to 12 times a week at various churches and the Balance Center in Huntsville, helping those with mobility problems improve their quality of life. He gave up this passion only six months ago due to declining health. His son, Matthew Eliot Smith, preceded him in death. His wife, Joan Anderson Smith and his daughter, Phala Lea Patton-Reed and her husband Joe and his daughter in law, Shana Smith survive him. He is also survived by his grandchildren, who were the light of his life: Bryan James Patton and fiance Taylor Waters, Kelsey Joan Stenberg and husband Jacob, Eryn Elizabeth Patton and fianc Donnie Decker, Phala Grace Reed, Kirsten Failing, Mason Smith, Ian Brunson Reed, and Keith Long. Also cherishing his memory are Peggy and Jack Weldy, Wilma and Ray Anderson, Brenda Rhodes, and a host of friends and extended family. In lieu of flowers the family ask that contributions be made in Bobby’s name to either Samaritan’s Purse or the charity of your choice . A celebration of his life will be held at Whitesburg Baptist Church South Campus on Friday, December 19, 2014 at 10:00am. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.
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