Robert Scott Smith, Class of 1929

September 14, 2001
Santa Paula High School
By B. J. Harding, President, SPUHS Alumni Association Biography #154 (Have you submitted yours?)One of two sons of Robert Percy and Mabel Gibson Smith, Robert?s brother was Sydney. A native Santa Paulan, Robert?s life revolved around the activities of the community and the county. As a child he was active in the Boy Scouts and in the Presbyterian Church.Robert?s activities at SPUHS were Spanish Club, English Honor Society, Festival of Nations, Commercial Club, stage manager for the Junior Play, art, Band and orchestra all four years, and the role of Nicholas King in the Senior Play. He was also in the CSF for three years. His best friend in high school was Stuart Courtice, and this friendship lasted for life.During his high school years, Robert worked after school and weekends in his parents? store on Main Street, Smith?s Bazaar. He also held the office of deacon and treasurer at the Presbyterian Church, and was the publicity director of the Ventura County Christian Endeavor Union and served as vice president of this association.Robert went to Ventura Junior College and graduated from there in 1932. He registered at UCLA, but before school started he was hospitalized with a ruptured appendix and, since this was before we had antibiotics, his recovery was very long and slow. He therefore took extension courses from UC Berkeley and studied commercial law and English literature.
In 1940, Robert went to work for Sears, Roebuck and Company. He soon became division manager and helped set up the new Sears store at the Buena Center in Ventura.In 1941 Robert married the love of his life, Ruth Bagnall, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Frederick Bagnall. They lived in Santa Paula and Robert returned to manage the Santa Paula Sears store, where he worked until ill health forced his retirement at age 50. He was semi-invalid until his death in Santa Paula in 1966.During his active life Robert was with the local Community Players, the American Legion, Post 840 Band, and marched with them in the Pasadena Rose Parade. He was the first secretary of the Junior Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the 20/30 Club, and helped to organize the Phil Lewis Toastmasters Club. He belonged to the Community Concert Association; these concerts were held in the Freeman Eakin Memorial Auditorium. During World War II, he was awarded a one day trip on the S.S. American Seaman for selling the most War Bonds in the community. Robert gave much to his community in his short time with us.

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