Mr. Robert J. Smith, 64, of Independence, died Thursday, January 15, 2015 at Mercy Hospital.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00am Tuesday, January 20, 2015, at Saint John Missionary Baptist Church with the Reverend Clifton Johnson, officiating. Interment will be at the Mount Hope Cemetery. Friends may call at the Webb and Rodrick Chapel and Crematory from 8:00a m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday.
Robert James Smith was born July 8, 1950 at Cleveland, Ohio the son of Willard L. Smith, Sr. and Johnnie C. (Spencer) Smith. His family moved to Independence in 1953 and he attended elementary, junior high, and graduated high school in 1968. Robert excelled in music during high school and won numerous music awards. He also attended Independence Community College on a music scholarship.
Robert enlisted in the United States Army in March of 1970. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood for basic training and later served in Vietnam and received numerous commendations. He completed his military service at Fort Dix, New Jersey and was honorably discharged.
He married Vanessa Brown on July 19, 1973. They were blessed with two children. The surviving children are Rafa S. Smith of Independence, KS and Gerlanda N. (Smith) Jones of Tulsa, OK. Robert and Vanessa were later divorced. After moving to Pontiac, Michigan he married Julia Smith, on November 12, 1994. They were blessed with a son, Zebadiah C. Smith. He lives in Independence, KS.
Robert worked for City Garbage of Pontiac as a dispatcher; He later divorced and returned to Independence, KS.
Robert was a member of Saint John Missionary Baptist Church. As a youth he sang with the junior choir. He also sang with the Wondering Four, The Spiritual Six, the Senior Choir and the Southeast District Laymen
Other survivors include: a brother, Willard L. Smith, Jr. (Cynthia) of Centennial, CO. and a sister, Brenda E. Franklin (Maurice) of Independence, KS, a niece, and three grandchildren.
His parents preceded him in death.
Webb & Rodrick has been entrusted with the services