The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


November 9, 2012

Bobby Gene Smith

— Bobby Gene Smith, 77, was born in Limestone County in 1935 to parents Tom and Roma Smith. Bobby was raised on a farm with his brother, Alvie, and sisters, Lynda and Jewel.

He entered the U.S. Navy in 1954 and served in the Korean conflict aboard the aircraft carrier USS Shangri-La.

He married Ramona Sanderson in 1957, and their only child, Jeff, was born in 1958. He had a lifelong appreciation for music, and began playing in local bands in the mid-60s. During this time, he ran a family store near Harvest. After selling the store, he worked at Redstone Arsenal. He acquired a large farm in 1972 and the family moved to Petersburg, Tenn. During this time, he worked full time at Redstone Arsenal, farmed and played in a local popular band. The family moved to Harvest in 1979.

He and Ramona helped raise two grandchildren, Jamie (1978) and Jana (1980). Upon retirement from Redstone Arsenal, he continued to farm and played in many local bands right up until the time he became ill and no longer had the strength.

Throughout life, he worked hard and earned a measure of respect from peers for his integrity, honesty, and dedication to whatever endeavor he pursued. He always put family first, and will forever be missed.

Survivors include his wife, Ramona Smith; son, Jeff Smith and wife Elizabeth; sisters, Jewel Smith and Lynda Locke; grandchildren, Jana Rucker and husband John, Jamie Eslick and husband Scott, and Michael Beaver; great-grandchildren, Alisha Rucker, Dana Rucker, Ella Rucker, Jack Eslick and Wyatt Eslick; and special friend, Philip Locke.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Alvie Smith.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Huntsville Memory Gardens. Burial will be in Huntsville Memory Gardens with Lynda Locke officiating. 

Visitation is from 6-8 p.m. Sunday at Limestone Chapel Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, make donations to North Alabama Hospice in Madison County.

Sign the online guestbook at

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