Posted on: September 9, 2022
Dr. Robert E. Smith, Jr., 74, died on Saturday, August 6, 2022 after a cardiac event.
Born on November 3, 1947 in Atlanta, GA, Bob was the son of the late Reverend Doctor Robert E. Smith, Sr. and Mrs. Margaret Robinson Smith. He graduated from Winnsboro High School, then attended Erskine College, where he graduated magna cum laude. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then completed internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in medical oncology, at Dartmouth Hospitals in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Bob married the love of his life, Lynn Tison (Ti) Quattlebaum, on June 20, 1970. After completing his medical training, he and Ti returned to South Carolina to make their home in Columbia. One of the first medical oncologists in Columbia, Bob was a founding member of South Carolina Oncology Associates (SCOA). He served as the SCOA president for many years, and under his guidance, SCOA became a leader in cancer care known around the country. He is remembered by his patients as a caring and compassionate physician. In his over 40 year career, physician colleagues, nurses, and staff admired him for his work ethic, dedication to his patients, and his sense of humor. Bob served a term as President of the South Carolina Oncology Society, Chief of Staff at Baptist Medical Center, and was a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, European Society for Medical Oncology, South Carolina Medical Association, and the Columbia Medical Society. He was active in clinical research and published in multiple distinguished journals. He was an engaging speaker, and was an invited lecturer around the world. After his retirement from clinical practice in 2016, he served as a consultant with Integra Connect since 2019 and has continued oncology research with a poster presentation scheduled at the European Society for Medical Oncology meeting in Paris this September.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister Susan Smith Fielding and brother William Mack Smith, as well as nephew Bennett Alexander. He is survived by his wife, Ti, of 52 years; daughters Mrs. Shelby Thompson (Andrew) of Weston, MA, Dr. Anne Hutchison (Ed) of Columbia, SC and Mrs. Meritt Kelsey (Darin) of Newburyport, MA. He is also survived by sisters Mrs. Carolyn Stevenson (Eben) of Ridgeway, SC and Mrs. Salli Alexander (Charles) of Greenville, SC, and many nieces and nephews. He was beloved Poppa to ten grandchildren: Knox, Reeves, and Meritt Thompson; James, Ryn, and Grace Hutchison; and Skyler, Whitney, Tate, and Tison Kelsey. He also leaves behind his much adored rescue dogs, Ernie and Izzie, and a questionable feral kitten, Monk.
While he was known in the community for his many career accomplishments, his true legacy, and what he was most proud of, was his family. A deeply devoted husband and father, his family was always his utmost priority and what brought him the most joy. Bob had such love and adoration for Ti, and he loved nothing more than spending time with her, whether it was traveling, kayaking, or walking their dogs on the beach. He was an incredible father to his three girls, generous to a fault, and led by example with a stern, but gentle manner. He was a doting and attentive grandfather. Poppa s kind heart, devilish wit, strong opinions on just about any subject, and shockingly blatant honesty amused his grandchildren, often sending them into fits of laughter.
Bob s bright mind and natural intellectual curiosity made him a lifelong learner. He was a man of many talents a marvelous cook, a beautiful writer, a Master Gardener, a skilled fly fisherman, and an avid outdoorsman and naturalist. He was most at home in the kitchen, having a glass of wine (or two!) while cooking for friends and family.
He will be deeply missed and forever loved.