Robert Elliott Smith, 84, passed away peacefully April 6, at the Good Samaritan Society in Socorro. He lived in and loved the town of Socorro for 38 years. Robert was born in Rockland, Maine on June 2, 1938. After graduating from Gallia Academy High School in Gallipolis, Ohio, in 1956, he joined the U.S. Navy, sailing on the USS Galveston where he
began his training toward becoming an electronics and instrumentation specialist.
In his early career, he lived and worked in Wilmington, Delaware, Clear, Alaska, and Quincy, Massachusetts. He worked for NASA at Wallops Island Flight Center, Virginia, for 11 years before moving to Socorro in 1984 where he worked at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Large Array until retirement.
Robert enjoyed traveling and reading, was an avid road cyclist, and spent every minute he could in nature.
Robert was preceded in death by his father, Gordon Smith, and mother, Audrey Smith, both of Factoryville, Pennsylvania.
He is survived by his sister Linda Roth and her husband Leslie Roth of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania. His niece, Shana Pelka, and husband Jerry Pelka, their son Samuel Pelka, and his nephew Justin Roth and wife Michelle Roth. All currently reside in Tunkhannock as well.
His life was celebrated, and his pass- ing mourned in a private ceremony for the family. “Bobby was kind, warm-hearted, and would help anyone who needed… he is amongst the stars now, the same stars he spent a lifetime watching and listening to in the New Mexico desert.”
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Good Samaritan Society, 1203 Highway 60 W, Socorro, N.M. 87801 or to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.