Robert (Bob) "Smitty Smith

May 23, 1937 - August 2, 2021
Traverse City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Robert "Bob" Smith "Smitty", 84, passed away peacefully on Aug. 2, 2021. He was born on May 23, 1937 in Traverse City, the son of Robert K. and Bertha L. (Howell) Smith. Smitty was a lifelong resident of Traverse City. He was a graduate of Traverse City Central High School and Ferris State University.

He dearly loved the city. He dedicated his life to his family and public service. He spent over thirty years in law enforcement and was an extremely well known city police officer. He has also had other various roles with the city. Smitty was the first appointed officer for the McGruff neighborhood watch program in Traverse City. Upon his retirement from the City Police department, he was given a golf cart, which you could find him cruising around town in. He also worked part time for over twenty years as a school bus driver for the Traverse City Public School system.

Outside of work, he was also known as a referee for high school football and basketball for over twenty-five years. Smitty also ran the American Legion baseball program for years. In 1991 he umpired the girls state final softball game, one of his proudest moments.

Bob was an avid sports fan who followed his beloved Tigers and Red Wings. He always tried to catch their games on TV. Athletics were a passion of Smitty as he played almost every sport available to him. He taught his boys good sportsmanship and a "give it all you got" attitude on the field or ice. When he wasn't out on the field or on the ice, you could find Smitty doing many laps at the Civic Center.

Smitty had many enjoyments, he could be found at every Cherry Festival for the past 25 years at his post on the corner of Front and Park Street. He also loved handing out candy during Halloween.

He is survived by his three sons, Michael (Donna) Smith of Minneapolis, Timothy Smith of Grawn and Patrick (Jacqui) Smith of Interlochen.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of over forty years, Ellie; who passed away in 2006.

In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Cherryland Humane Society.

An informal gathering and reception will be held 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14 at Life Story Funeral Home. Please visit Life Story's website at to share your thoughts and more.