Robert Lee Smith, 80, passed away peacefully on March 7, 2019 with his family present. Robert Lee Smith, affectionately known to all as Bobby, was born on January 7, 1939 in Greensboro, North Carolina to Eleanor Smith and William Robert Taylor. Eleanor traveled to Boston in the early 1940’s. In 1949 she married Silas Dobson, Sr. and together they raised Bobby and his siblings.
Bobby was educated in the Boston Public Schools and later received his GED. His exceptional vocal talent was discovered when he was a young boy. As a member of Grant AME Church, he would sing tenor in the choir. Bobby would later use his musical talents to sing in an aspiring R&B group called “The Wonders”. It was here that Bobby would share his musical prowess with the world. In a commitment to God, Bobby vowed to sing only gospel music and would go on to record both original and classic numbers.
Bobby was a proud father of eleven children and step-father of two children. He married Rosemary Foster (Smith) and together, had seven children. Bobby had four additional children.
On July 7, 2007, Bobby and Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry entered into Holy Matrimony. They remained together for twelve beautiful years.
A lover of food, music, fun, movies and clothing, Bobby was always meticulously dressed, a humble and mild-mannered man with a contagious smile. He enjoyed laughing, socializing and great meals. Bobby enjoyed bringing a smile to those around him, and without effort lifted the spirits of others. He could be counted on to encourage, support, listen to and nurture all who were fortunate enough to know him; that was his ministry.
Bobby lived in North Carolina, Boston, New York and California. After working as a career musician, Bobby became a tradesman. Bobby spent his seasoned years working for various public service organizations in the City of Boston including: Boston Public Schools, Boston Housing Authority and Central Boston Elder Services.
Bobby was a proud and active member of Grant AME Church where he was a Church Soloist, a member of the Men’s Choir, and participated in The Marriage Ministry. Bobby’s civic and social activities included being a member of the Goldenaires of Freedom House, where he was Acting Chaplain. He also served as Vice President of the Codman Apartment Task Force.
Bobby was preceded in death by his father, William Robert Taylor, mother, Eleanor Dobson and stepfather, Silas Dobson, Sr.; his sister, Reverend Sandra Leonard ; first wife, Rosemary Smith; sons, Baron D. Smith, Vernarda Cortez Smith, daughter Vonnetta G. Smith, stepson Shaheed Henry and and two grandsons, Troy Smith and Clarence McGregor, Jr.
A beloved husband, father, stepfather, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, uncle, nephew, son and brother, Bobby is survived by loving wife Jumaada Henry Smith; siblings Patricia Wright (Dobson), Barbara Dobson, Eleanor Williams (Michael), Silas Dobson (Louella), Shelton Dobson (Nancy); children Laverne Johnson (Earl), Veneice Smith-McCain (Nelson), Robin Smith-McGregor (Clarence), Shirelle Gomes (George), Ryon D. Worthy Sr. (Saunserarr), Manuel (Budda) Peters, Rosemary Regina Smith, Tiara Rachel Smith and stepdaughter, Hakeema Henry; 27 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, aunts, uncles, stepmothers and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
We love him dearly, we’ll miss him, and we’ll see him again, “If THE LORD say the same” (one of Bobby’s favorite sayings). To God be the glory.
There will be a Viewing on Friday March 15, 2019 from 9:00 to 11:00am followed by Funeral Service at 11:00 O’clock, Grant A.M.E. Church 1906 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02118
Interment: Mt. Hope Cemetery Boston, MA 02131
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Riley-Antoine Funeral Home