Robert John “RJ” Smith
Sunday, January 8, 1928
Date of Death:
Wednesday, November 7, 2018
90 years old
Robert John “RJ” Smith
Robert John “RJ” Smith of Rochester, MN passed away peacefully on November 7, 2018 surrounded by his loving family and friends of cancer at age 90.
Born January 8, 1928 in Rochester, son of Joseph and Hellen (Betz) Smith, RJ was a lifelong resident, graduating from Our Lady of Lourdes High School in 1945. He was proud of the fact that his was the first class to have attended four years at the school. At age 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served two years. September 9, 1949, he married Delores M. Ellersich in Eveleth, MN. They made their home in Rochester and raised their family, Julie (Arnold) Steinlage of Reno NV, Jeffrey (Linda) Smith of Zumbrota MN, Darby (Kathy) Smith of Des Moines, IA.
RJ’s passion for golf began as a young boy, he started to caddy at age ten. While he was an accomplished golfer, he especially liked to hunt and collect golf balls for which he gained national recognition. RJ worked as a cement finisher, contractor, and tile setter and owned and operated RJ Smith Carpet and Tile for many years. He loved to play cribbage and once had a perfect hand. He enjoyed metal detecting, collecting many items, and working at the Northern Hills driving range. He celebrated 71 years of fishing openers on Lake Vermilion in May. He also did woodworking, building several doll houses for Relay for Life. He was a poet, storyteller, and enjoyed sharing his views on politics and religion. His knowledge of Rochester history, notable people, and landmarks was unsurpassed.
RJ was a devout Catholic, husband, father, brother, grandfather and friend. He will be sorely missed by those he left behind on earth, his children and their spouses; five grandchildren, Cara (Brett) Chevalier and Patrick (Kate) Smith, Arnold (Corrine) and Joseph Steinlage, and Audrey (Jamie) Scott; seven great-grandchildren; one sister, Mary Lou Smith; sister-in-law, Glennis Smith; one niece and nephew; special friends, Joe Hartert, Dolly Knutson and her family. He was welcomed into heaven by his wife, Delores; daughters, Jeanette and Janelle; grandson, Ryan Smith; brother, Charles and his parents.
Visitation to celebrate his life will be held from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Sunday, November 11, 2018 in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home. Rosary will be held at 5:00 p.m. with dessert and coffee to follow. A private funeral Mass for the immediate family will be celebrated by Father Thomas Mroczka. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery.
At RJ’s request, memorials will be given to Congregation of Pius V Immaculate Heart Seminary to help promote vocations and to St. Ann’s Academy.
The family of Robert John “RJ” Smith has received the following condolences.
My sincere condolences to the Smith family on your loss.
May you find comfort and peace in the your precious memories of John,
and in the wonderful promise's of our God Jehovah who promises at
Revelation 21:3,4 ) And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more,
neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
We have a hope of seeing our love ones again (John 5:28,29 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming
in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice 29?and come out,
those who did good things to a resurrection of life,
I hope these promises along with your prayers bring your family some comfort.
My deepest sympathy