Obituary of Robert E. Smith
Robert E. Smith
12/7/22, predeceased by his parents Galen and Florence, wife of 64yrs Jeane and Grandson Shaun. Survived by sons Mark (Sandy), Scott (Angela), Todd (Kristyn). Grand children Tina, Kevin, Matthew, Connor and Nicole. 8 Great and 3 Great -Great Grandchildren. Brothers and sisters, Jeannine, Barry, Jim, Richard and Donna. Sister In Law Betty Davison, nieces and nephews. Also, his close ADK and 1000 Island friends whom he always considered as family.
Robert spent over 68 years in the Gear Industry. His first 38 years at Gleason Works as an Engineer (through 2yr Apprenticeship and RIT night schooling). He left in 1986 to start his own Consulting Business of which he ran successfully for 30 years. All those years in total is a remarkable feat. He liked to “keep his mind’ going. He never once had to go looking for work. Robert was revered throughout the world as a Renowned Gear Expert and as such was sought out worldwide by hundreds of Companies to diagnose and solve their Gear problems. He authored several articles, held Patents and was a longstanding and highly respected member of the AGMA . He chaired several Gear Standard Committes’ and gave numerous Seminars sharing his knowledge. He also authored a question and answer column for Gear Technology Magazine. Although he did not “brag about it”, we know he took some sense of pride in challenging and ultimately proving (more than once) Engineering Professors as being wrong In his field of Expertise. In the end all were better for it. His list of Clients filled several pages. He was called on to solve gear issues’ from a tiny camera gear (Kodak) to a large 12 foot diameter gear at the Snake River Dam. His work and knowledge impacted every Industry that utilizes gears, from Automobile, Aviation, Marine, Rail and even household appliances . They called and he went or they waited for him to arrive like the time he flew to Europe. The customer (GE) had a giant crane set up to drop a gearbox to the ground from a 400’ tall GE Windmill so he could diagnose and solve the issue. Recently, he mentioned that in his time working that he made 60 trips just to Europe, in addition to all over Asia and North America.
Robert could pick up a Book or observe someone in a“Trade”, study it and become expert at executing, applying it and turning it in to a quality reality. We don’t know how he did it but while working his way through Gleason Works, still in his early twenties….he spent 2yrs working evenings and weekends building the family home of which he still proudly lived in until taking Ill just last month. He literally laid up 9000 Bricks during his construction. He borrowed a book from the Library, studied it and before starting the Brick work was discouraged from doing it himself by an old time Mason that was a friend of his Father In Law. He proceeded anyways and when he finally finished….The old time Mason said “Hey Bob, I want to hire you”!
As a side note, growing up we did not pay much attention to what our Dad did. He would come home from work, make himself his daily Martini, sit down in his Black Leather Chair and read the newspaper. Then it was to the kitchen table as mom always had dinner ready. In recent years we have run in to at least a half dozen people that either worked with him or were in the “field’. Everyone said, almost verbatim “your Dad was the smartest person I have ever met”. What a great thing for us to hear. To us though, he was much more than that….He was our one and only Dad (who along with mom) was always there for us, his Daughter In Laws’ and Grandchildren (including young Grandson Shaun that struggled so hard with his Brain Tumor). He was our mentor and helper right to the end. He helped us with everything (he didn’t trust others) so when something was wrong or broke, he figured it out. Anything from doing Plumbing, complicated (at least to us) Electrical wiring, Installing a Furnace, building a garage or even fixing or building Computers for his family and friends. Dad, still sharp as ever at 91….was not only calling from smart phone but texting and throwing in Emojis’ too!
Dad…..you, mom and Shaun are only “one step ahead” of us. Until them….WE ALL LOVE YOU DAD
Calling hours will be held 2-5 pm Sunday, December 11 at Farrell-Ryan Funeral & Cremation Services, 777 Long Pond Road. Funeral service 5 pm Sunday at the funeral home. Interment 11 AM Monday at White Haven Memorial Park. Those wishing to attend the burial, please meet at the main entrance of the cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to C.U.R.E. Childhood Cancer Association 200 Westfall Rd, Rochester, NY 14620