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1937 Robert 2024

Robert Smellie

September 28, 1937 — April 11, 2024

St George, UT

St. George, Utah – Robert Franklin Smellie, 86, embarked on the next phase of his journey with grace and readiness on Thursday, April 11, 2024. He was surrounded by his children, as he wished, and expressed his love and trust in each of them. It was a sacred experience for all who witnessed his courage, determination, faith, and gentle concern for his family’s well-being to the very end. Over the past few weeks, his physical body was declining, but his spirit was growing and expanding.

Bob was born on Sept. 28, 1937, in San Bernadino, CA, to Avon Kirkham Smellie, son of Scottish immigrants, and Johanna Gerarda Gruys, daughter of Dutch immigrants. He was a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 1957 to 1959 in the Gulf States Mission, comprised of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. He married Addie Uwarda Shirts, the love of his life, in the Los Angeles Temple on Sept. 29, 1959. They remained faithful to each other and the church they loved for their entire lives. Bob has missed his lovely wife for the last 9 years since her passing in January 2015.

Growing up in Bakersfield, Bob worked with his father on the railroad and delighted in trains for the rest of his life. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His professional career took him to Modesto & San Ramon, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX. He worked in Germany for a year, with his family joining him during the summer. Intrigued by the emerging world of home computers in the late 1970s, he bought a kit and built a home computer long before they were a mainstay in the American home. He was an entrepreneur, partnering with his wife and sons to own two family restaurants in the 1980s.

After surviving three open heart surgeries during his working years, his dream of living full-time in a motorhome became a reality in early retirement. For 18 years, he and Uwarda traveled across the United States, visiting places and people they loved. He enjoyed Mexican food, watching sports, and Western books and movies. After Uwarda passed away, Bob was captivated by the innovation and intricacies of his new Tesla. He enjoyed everything about mapping the charging stations, programming new features in the car, and watching the Tesla plant expansion in Texas. Joining the Sun River residential community e-bike group was an adventure for Bob. He delighted in the camaraderie of genuine new friends and various outdoor trails, often riding 30- or 40 miles multiple times a week. On Fridays, he had a standing date to ride with his daughter in-law, Nicholle Smaellie Felshaw.

Bob was well-liked by everyone who met him. He was an extraordinary man with a gift of accepting others without judgment. He was authentic, honest, cheerful, uncomplaining, and quick to serve others. His family considered him their hero. His compassionate service to Uwarda in the last years of her life, when she was confined to a wheelchair, was an exceptional example of loving service to all who knew them. He continually gave her the highest quality of life possible within his power. Robert was preceded in death by his wife Uwarda, infant daughter Vachele, brother Bill Smellie, and sisters Marilyn Beatse and Joyce Clendenin. He is survived by his sisters, Katy Parker and Elaine Richmond, and children: Jillayne (Dave) Thomas, Douglas (Christine) Smaellie, Kenneth (Susan) Smaellie, Jana Smellie, and 18 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

A public viewing will be held on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 10 am at 1483 West Angel Arch Drive, St. George. A graveside service and interment will follow at Tonaquint Cemetery. Arrangements are made under the direction of Hughes Mortuary, 1037 East 700 South St. George, Utah, (435) 674-5000. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

1483 Angel Arch Drive, St. George, UT 84790

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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