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Robert Saxton Smith, age 91, passed away at Newport Hospital on the morning of Tuesday, September 13. Miriam, his beloved wife and lifelong partner of 66 years was by his side when he passed.
Robert is also survived by his children, Mark Smith of Portsmouth Rhode Island and wife Judy, Jonathan Smith of Washington Crossing Pennsylvania and wife Joanne; Grandchildren Jason Smith, Christine Anderson and husband Marcellus, and Lewis Smith; his Aunt Beatrice Link; countless nephews, nieces, cousins, and a beloved community of friends. He is predeceased by his father William Smith, stepfather Lewis Phillips, mother Alice Phillips and siblings Ethel, Melvin, Sampson, William Alphonso and William Henry.
Robert is a 1948 graduate of Rogers High School. He served his country for 3 years in Germany as a member of the United States Army. After his military service, Robert earned his Associate Degree from the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in 1956. He then joined Newport Furniture Company, working his way up to the role of Vice President. Following Newport Furniture, Robert was employed as an accountant with the firm of Hoff, Raiche, Koziara and Martland, retiring in 1993.
Robert was devoted to his family, with many summers taken up with camping trips, reunions with his siblings and their families, and later on cruises and other travel with lifelong friends.
Robert Smith leaves a legacy of service to the greater Newport Community. He served on numerous charitable boards, including the Armed Service YMCA, Baptist Home of Newport, and the Friends of Newport Public Library. He was a founding parent of the New School, now the Pennfield School, and also served as Board Chairperson. Robert used his financial and managerial gifts to assist in numerous initiatives that have shaped our community, including the merger committee for the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County, founding treasurer for the Newport Council of International Visitors, and the merger of Shiloh and Mt Olivet Baptist Church into Community Baptist Church. As a member of Trinity Church for over 35 years, he served on the internal audit committee, the counters committee, and as a frequent usher and greeter for early services.
Robert was as dedicated member of the Kiwanis Club of Newport, joining in 1964 and serving until his passing. Robert served on multiple occasions as president and treasurer. Recognition for his service includes the Legion of Honor, and in 2022, the Kiwanis Club “Red Jacket” for the many contributions he made over his 57 year tenure with Kiwanis. Many of his lifelong friends come from his time with Kiwanis, and he served as a strong example and mentor for younger members.
A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, September 21 at 11:00am in Trinity Church, Queen Anne Square, Newport. Burial will be in Trinity Cemetery, Portsmouth after a church reception.