In Memoriam: Notice of Funeral, January 23, 2022 | Obituary


Early in the morning of January 12, 2022, we lost Robert Royhl Smith, far too soon at the age of 72. He was a painter, an art teacher, an avid reader, a lifelong learner, a unique, brilliant, fun-loving man, a traveler – someone whose curiosity was endless and never stopped searching. His career spanned fifty years, during which he collaborated with other artists around the world, creating a prolific body of work that has been widely exhibited, from Kyoto to Johannesburg to Willow Creek, Montana. Robert was born in New York on December 31, 1949 to Dr. Hugh H. Smith and Mary Royhl Smith. In 1954, her family, including her brother, Peter H. Smith, moved to Tucson, Arizona. Tucson and the Sonoran Desert became a major influence on his art and life. He attended Tucson High and, after studying at numerous schools across the country, earned a BA and MFA from the University of Arizona. He began teaching at the Tucson Museum of Art School where he began to influence countless students. Robert married Joanne Stuhr in 1982, after which he took a job at San Diego State. There his first daughter, Alexis Page Smith, was born in 1984. He later moved to Bozeman, Montana, where he found great joy in the outdoors, especially the headwaters of the Missouri River and the Yellowstone National Park. In Bozeman, he taught as an art professor at Montana State University where he met his wife, Gesine Sara Janzen. They had his second daughter, Emeline Marie Janzen Smith, in 2006. He also had a stepson, Henry August Janzen, whom he loved and supported as his own. He spent the last years of his life writing and self-publishing books about his works with vignettes of his vast wealth of experiences. We are grateful that he passed away peacefully, holding the hand of his beloved wife, Gesine, and having spent his final days with his children, Emeline, Henry and Alexis; his brother, Peter, and his niece Sara, at his side, as well as his dog, Leo. A memorial service will be held and a separate notice will be sent to the community. Donations can be made to the Bozeman Library Foundation or Arts for All in Tucson, Arizona. Arrangements by DOKKEN-NELSON FUNERAL SERVICE.


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