June 28, 1932 - Sept. 8, 2019

Mr. Robert Max Smith Sr., 87, Rochester, passed away at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 at the Elkhart Center for Hospice Care.

On June 28, 1932, Robert Max Smith Sr. was born in Logansport. He was the treasured son of Rolland and Edna Clement Smith. During his formative years, Bob rode horses, beginning at age 3. His lifelong equine passion continued as he bought and sold his first pony. Bob graduated from Rochester High School in 1950.

In Rochester, Bob and Nancy Musselman were married on Aug. 27, 1951. From their union came Robert Jr., Glendon, Holly, Scott and Brandon.

On Jan. 27, 1974, Bob married Barbara Lowery Scott. From their union came Tracey. Wendy and Julie were a special part of their blended family. After nearly two decades of marriage, sadly Barbara passed away on Jan. 24, 1994.

Collaborating with Gene Smith from 1953-1959, Bob presented Fulton County with the S&S Rodeo near City Park on West 11th Street. Rodeo enthusiasts could watch the Brahman bull riding, bronco riding and calf roping. Over the decades, he was a great supporter of and contributor to the Fulton County 4-H Horse and Pony Club.

Bob along with Ray Smiley and Don Smiley co-founded the National Appaloosa Pony Club Inc., 1953-1990. With great pride, Bob presented two world champion Appaloosas in 1963: Pawnee Warrior and Gun Hand. He was a tack dealer, selling at Strawtown Auction in Noblesville. Bob was well-known among the folks who attended the Shipshewana Livestock Auction, keeping friends on the cutting-edge and stylish trends of tack for more than 40 years.

An entrepreneur in 1968, Bob purchased Forest Farms Products. He later added Forest Farms Western Store to showcase tack and other farm-related supplies. National Gift Wrap was also founded in this location. After six years of operations, the devastation of the 1974 tornado reduced the building to rubble.

With resilience, Bob then transitioned his business to an auction-style, selling tack and Western equipment at various equestrian shows and expositions for the next 20 years. Weekly auctions were held at the auction house on old U.S. 31 North where people loved to come and capture treasures. The annual Thanksgiving auctions were held at the fairground community building. In 1995, he established the Smith Saddlery in Rochester near the airport. This offered a new dimension to horse fanciers that would fly in and shop as well as those who would drive in from around the Midwest.

Left to cherish the memory of Bob are seven children, Robert M. Smith Jr., Rochester, Glendon Wilson and husband Jeffery, Rochester, Holly Van Lue, Goshen, Scott Smith and wife Leah, Newburgh, Brandon Smith, Rochester, Tracey Schaeffner and husband Paul, Rochester, and Wendy Bayona and husband Ramon, Simsbury, Conn.; grandchildren Amy Widman and husband Ray, Adam Wilson and wife Kathy, Aaron Wilson and wife Stephanie, Brook Conley and husband Brandon, Kimberly Baltazar and companion Rick Kobold, Nathan Kamp and wife Abby, Kelsey Smith, Kylie Smith, Autumn Schaeffner, Morgan Bayona, Lindsey Bayona, Mindy Malott and JT Malott; great-grandchildren Audrey, Mackenzie and Macie Widman, Aiden and Evan Wilson, Luca Santella, Adrienne, Madelyn and Stella Conley, Sage, Brey and Vincent Baltazar, Carter, Bindie and Malachie Kamp and Taylor and Emerson Bowers; and blended family, David Crisp and Rick Stough.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents, Rolland and Edna Smith; wife Barbara Smith; infant brother Junior Smith at age 11 months in 1931; stepdaughter Julie Wirtz; and grandchildren, infant Dylan Stough on July 1, 1999, and Destiny Smith on Aug. 7, 2015.

A celebration of the life of Mr. Robert M. Smith Sr. will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, at the Good Family Funeral Home, 1200 W. 18th St., Rochester. Pastor Jim Howard will officiate. Friends may visit with the family from 4-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, and one hour prior to the service Thursday at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Citizens Cemetery.

Preferred memorials in lieu of flowers may be made to the Fulton County 4-H Horse and Pony Club. Electronic expressions of sympathy may be made to his family at www.goodfamilyfh.com.