Robert (Bob) Sterling Smith, of Skowhegan, passed away on July 13, 2021 at Somerset Rehabilitation & Living Center in Bingham where he had been a resident since October 2015.
Bob was born February 20, 1933 in Augusta, Maine the son of John Harold and Mildred Leona (Sterling) Smith. He spent most of his younger years residing in various towns throughout the state as his father was a school teacher but he always considered Caratunk as his home.
Bob graduated from Bangor High School and obtained a B.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine, Orono. Upon graduating from Orono, he worked a short time for a private forestry company before reporting to Fort Dix, New Jersey to begin a 20 month period of active duty for the U.S. Army. Upon returning home to Skowhegan, Bob worked as a forester for the State of Maine and then established his own private forestry & land management company, surveying and managing wood lots in Somerset County. Bob continued to be involved with land surveying until about 1990 and provided a wealth of knowledge regarding the local history of Somerset County and the Skowhegan area.
Bob’s true passion in life was the production and promotion of Maine maple syrup. He could remember making maple syrup with his grandfather Ralph and since those early days he continued to enjoy producing, promoting, and consuming maple syrup. Bob started out fairly small, collecting sap from local roadside trees in the area and boiling it down at his sap house on Silver Street. Eventually he and his wife Barbara grew Smith’s Maple Products to become one of the larger Maine manufacturers and distributors of pure maple candy and syrup.
Bob was a very hard worker but also found time to enjoy these accolades and accomplishments: Founding member and past exalted ruler of the Skowhegan Madison Elks Lodge, inductee into the North American Maple Syrup Council Hall of Fame, former president of the North American Maple Syrup Council and Maine Maple Producers Association.
Bob also enjoyed going out to eat, trips to Atlantic City, playing cards, socializing at the Elks lodge, and watching the Red Sox and the Celtics.
Bob was married to Barbara Reeves Daniels of Rockland in May of 1954 and together they had six children.
Bob was predeceased by his loving wife Barbara to whom he was married for 52 years, his father and mother, son-in-law Galen Parker and granddaughter Anna Smith.
He is survived by his 6 children: Sandie Swierzynski (and husband John) of N. Las Vegas NV, Susan Parker of Skowhegan, Scott Smith (and wife Triss) of Madison, Sharon Irwin (and husband Richard) of Windsor, MO, Stephanie Smith of Warrensburg, MO, Stephen Smith (and wife Nanette) of Litchfield, his sister in law Linda Murray (and husband James) of Rockport -along with numerous grand and great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the entire staff at Somerset Rehab & Living Center in Bingham for the special care and attention that was given to their father. Bob was always demanding attention and the staff responded both admirably and professionally.
A private committal service will be held at the Webster Cemetery in Caratunk at a later date to be determined by the family. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Giberson Funeral Home in Bingham.
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