Robert (Bob) Lloyd SMITH

With family at his side, Robert Lloyd Smith passed away peacefully at home. Bob was born on June 11, 1948 and died on January 14, 2023.

He will be remembered by his loving wife, Mary, children Chris Petryk, Amanda and Robyn (Andrew Saddington), grandchildren James and Joni, brothers, Dwain (Millie), Doug (Deb), Barry (Jennifer), Randy (Linda), Barrett, sister Bobbi-Sue (Martin), step mom Susan and his many relatives and close friends.

He was predeceased by his parents, Paul and Mary, step dad, Harry Claerhout, sisters Betty, Bonnie, Debbie and Darlene, and brother Lyle.

Bob enjoyed a long career as the owner/operator of a school bus business in Edmonton. Upon his retirement he loved travelling in his motorhome and golfing many courses in Canada, the States and in Mexico.

A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date once the weather warms and the roads are safer to travel on. Please check back for future service details.


Robert Lloyd Smith (Bob) was born in Edmonton to Paul and Mary Smith on June 11, 1948. Paul and Mary separated after five years. When Bob was six, Mary married Harry Claerhout. This instant family of Harry’s daughters, Betty and Bonnie, Mary’s sons, Bob and Dwain moved to Red Deer and within three years, Debra and Doug were born. Bob recalled summer days of going into the woods at the edge of town exploring for the entire day returning home just before dark. He spoke of walking a young boy  with learning disabilities to school. This young lad may have been the forerunner to Bob’s school bus business later in life.

Three years later the family returned to Edmonton and were reconnected with family. Bob fondly recalled the Sunday gatherings of the extended family at Grandma and Grandpa’s house of great food followed by music played by family members. Bob’s love of music continued throughout his life. He fancied himself a drummer in his younger years. Although he never owned a drum set, he did own the drumsticks and played those on the couch or his chair to his very loud music. 

This connection to family meant a lot to Bob and he looked forward to family gatherings and reunions and made the effort to visit family. We visited Uncle Wib and Aunt Del and their families in the Seattle area, Ward and Marilyn in B.C., Dale and Joyce n Regina. We made annual treks to Kimberley to visit Willie, and were instrumental in the “PURPLE” birthday parties for him in July. Visits to Vancouver to spend time with Bob and Carol and onto the island to reconnect with Paul and Susan brought us so much joy. Driving to the east coast we stopped in Thunder Bay to greet Bob’s brother, Barry and his wife, Jennifer and then onto Saint John, New Brunswick to connect with nephew Steve and his family.  When we were with Grant in San Jose, Brian and Melanie in Kelowna, Darla and Sheldon in Hamilton, Barry and Gloria at their cottage in Saskatchewan, Nikki and Todd in Lloydminster, Denis and Marge in Killam, Bill and his family in Thorhild, Wade and Christine in Seattle, Ken, Karen and Chuck in Yakima, we always felt welcome and loved. Family meant a lot to Bob.

Bob also treasured friends that he considered to be family. Dan and Shirley, friends, business partners, fellow Vegas gamblers; they meant so much to him for fifty years. Ron and Rose. Ed and Martha were neighbors. Bob admired Norval and Linda and enjoyed the horse races over the years. Al and Bob golfed different courses and shared many noon three hour breakfasts twice weekly for years. Al died in October of 2022 and that was when we met Al’s nephew, Dave and his wife, Brenda. We felt such an instant attachment to this couple that we have connected often when they came to town. When Bob and I travelled Canada and the States in the motorhome we met people whom Bob considered to be dear friends and we continued to foster the relationships over twenty years.

Bob transported a special needs student to school when he drove taxi. He taught this young lad to greet his teachers, Annette and Judy, each morning and the teachers then taught Jeff to greet “Uncle Bob” when he returned to pick Jeff up after school. The other students in the classes told their parents they wanted to ride with Uncle Bob. Bob’s school bus business, “R.L. Smith Transportation Systems Ltd.” was started. Bob operated this school bus business from 1977 to 2002 primarily transporting students with special needs to and from school for the Edmonton Catholic School Board. Bob admired the parents and recognized the difficulties they had raising their children. He personally assured them that their students would have a safe and comfortable ride to and from school. The drivers used vans for years and later only small yellow school buses. Bob helped his drivers in any way possible to enable them to be successful while working for him. An added bonus that Bob appreciated was that our children learned to appreciate the special needs youngsters as wonderful kids and friends. Bob often chuckled as he stated that he drove the students to school so that I could teach them.

Bob met me, a teacher at the school where he was driving Jeff to. We married in 1979 and Bob was thrilled to be a parent to Chris and Amanda. Four years later Robyn was born to complete our family unit. He loved going on family vacations and being involved in the activities our children chose to take part in. Bob never missed an opportunity to hear Chris play violin at concerts and competitions.  Amanda had many dance competitions and both girls had piano concerts, and in the community and schools our kids had many events that Bob loved attending. He was so proud of them.

Bob loved sports, both as a spectator and a coach and of course, an avid participant in golf. As a youngster he participated in different sports in the community and in school. He won a number of awards in his junior high school in Jasper Place. There were times when Bob made a living playing pool and betting at the horse races.

Bob spent many years coaching teams for the Kensington Community League. He coached Amanda in soccer even though he never played soccer and knew little about the sport. He coached Robyn in softball. His coaching efforts over many years with Chris’ team was where he shone. He followed these lads for many years; his pride and joy was watching these young men improve their ball skills and develop into fine young men. He wanted them to always be and do their best and to be proud of their efforts.

Bob loved golf. He was instrumental in organizing the Smith Stewart Biccum golf tournament that ran for about thirty years. This was an opportunity for extended family to gather annually for one day to enjoy the game followed by a potluck meal and the camaraderie of family. Bob boasted that he and I were the only people who had perfect attendance over the years.

Bob had Oilers seasons tickets from their last year in the WHL and for 30 years. He loved to state that he was there for all the Stanley Cup wins and through the Gretzky era. He owned several satellite dishes over the years in his home and on the motorhome to ensure he would not miss an Oiler game wherever he was and wherever they played. In his last years he enjoyed games courtesy of his children, of Mike and Linda and his final game courtesy of Eugene and Collette. He felt that being a spectator at this game in the Scotiabank suite in December 2022 was a fitting end to his years as an avid Edmonton Oilers fan.

Bob felt that by the time his parents retired from work, they were too old to enjoy retirement. He was determined to enjoy his. His dream was to own a forty-foot motorhome with a satellite dish on top to watch the Oiler games while travelling.  In 2002 at 54 years of age he purchased a 38-foot motorhome and Bob and I left on an extended trip. We travelled to Vancouver Island, drove down to California, across to Florida, up to Indiana, into Manitoba and home to Edmonton. On this trip we golfed almost 100 games on over 60 courses, did loads of excursions, (Bob called them field trips.) We experienced the Mardis Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, successfully gambled in 7 of the 13 casinos in Biloxi, Mississippi, and met so many marvellous people. This was an absolutely fabulous retirement trip for Bob.

Family meant a lot to Bob, and he took part in many family gatherings and reunions. He encouraged and helped many family members when they needed it. Throughout his life, Bob’s kindness and generosity and appreciation of others built him many friendships. He appreciated the support these people gave him later through his three-year journey with cancer, using Facetime, emails, messages, cards, letters and visits.

In his last years he fulfilled his bucket list; he bought his last newest vehicle with Amanda’s help. He wanted one last trip to British Columbia and Washington state to visit family, and he did so with Chris’ support and Chris also got us home even though the Hope highway was washed away due to flooding. He wanted to spend as much time as possible with Robyn’s children, our grandchildren. Bob and James spent time together with music, kids’ shows on the computer, sharing snacks and playing with little cars and tractors. Bob was afraid he may never meet Joni, born October 2022. I assured him he would and grabbed an opportunity when Joni was three days old to fly to Vancouver for a quick five-day trip between his medical appointments. Bob had many daily naps with Joni, his youngest grandchild in October, December and January. Bob’s final item on his bucket list was to enjoy Christmas with his family and this he did, both the English and Ukrainian Christmases.

I felt privileged and blessed that I was able to help Bob through the journey of his last three years. He was concerned when he learned he had cancer and asked me to research and learn all I could to help him understand what was happening to him and to enable him to make informed decisions. As we discussed what I discovered, we both knew I was not medically trained but was only providing background information for what the doctors would be sharing with us. As I learned how to care for him at home, he was trusting and appreciative. He had such strength of character and I was so proud to be his wife. For three years he continued to acknowledge the kindness and thoughtfulness of our children, our relatives, friends, neighbors and medical personnel. Our family doctor was phenomenal. Bob was so strong, kind and thoughtful, and true to himself and others. He loved us all.

Bob wanted to die well and he succeeded. He insisted on dying at home and I am so glad he got his wish. Bob appreciated the frequent visits by Bob and Carol, our children and grandchildren. They were a tremendous help for his care and brought him so much joy. He continued to rally to spend time with them and other visitors to our home. To have Bob spend his last days in a caring and loving environment meant a lot to us all. He left us with so many wonderful memories. He felt he would be met by his mother and his Aunt Del when he passed over and I believe he was.




  1. Barb

    Mary, my heart felt sympathy goes out to you and your family. Prayers and hugs.

  2. Vanessa M.

    Thank you for being such a loving force in my youth, Mr. Smith! Sending love to Mary, Robyn, Amanda & Chris during this transitional time.

  3. Diana Bushby

    Mary, our deepest condolences on your family’s loss.

    • Susan

      Mary, my deepest condolences. Sorry to hear of Bob’s passing.

  4. Karen J Vernon

    Mary and family, our prayers and love are with you during this difficult time. It was so wonderful to be able to see you both and then to have telephone visits before Bob’s journey to his heavenly home. So thankful your children & grandchildren were able to spend quality time with you and to have been by Bob’s side during his final hours. What a Blessing! We send love and prayers for peace to you and the rest of the family. Your are the best Mary, because of your love & expert care, Bob was able to stay home where he truly wanted to be. You are loved. Hugs, Chuck & Karen

  5. Annette Stein

    Mary and family, I was saddened to hear of Bob’s death. Life is a mystery and is very fragile. Bob’s company did a tremendous job of transporting students safely to their schools. Specifically, for me, it was the children with special needs. We shared many good times together for which I am grateful. If Bob’s ‘Celebration of Life’ is not private, I would like to come and pay my respects. Blessings! Annette Stein

    • Mary Smith

      Annette, thank you for your sentiments. I would love to see you at Bob’s service. It will be held at Kensington Community Hall on June 24th. The time will be determined later.

  6. Terry Luxton

    My sincere condolences go out to Mary and family and all extended family members of Robert. I have known Bob for a number of years and although our paths have not crossed often within recent years it was a joy to see him. Bob always greeted you with big smile and expressed an interest in how you were and what was happing in your life. May your memories help you thru this most difficult time. Bob was one of kind. Rest In Peace Dear Bob.


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