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Obituary - William Robert "Bobby" Smith Sr.
Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory
William Robert "Bobby" Smith Sr.

William Robert "Bobby" Smith Sr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, March 12, after spending the day with his family.

His life in Statesboro was given in love and service to his family, his church, his community and to his business and teaching professions. In all, he was generous with his time and talents and developed devoted and enduring relationships with those with whom he worked and served.

For many years, Bobby served as deacon and Sunday school teacher in the Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church. He also served on the church’s Boy Scout Council.

He was an instructor of economics at Georgia Southern College, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award the second year it was presented.

In addition to his teaching career, he was president and co-owner of E.A. Smith Grain Company and Smith Supply Company.

Bobby served as member and chair of the Bulloch County Board of Education and served on the boards of First Federal Savings and Loan, the Sea Island Bank and Farmers and Merchants Bank.

Working alongside his wife, The Jaeckel Hotel was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places.

Bobby was a past president of the Statesboro Rotary Club, where he hosted international exchange students and was voted "Citizen of the Year” in 2008.

He was a founder and supporter of Ogeechee Area Hospice, served on the board of the Statesboro Housing Authority and served as member and chair of the board of directors of Bethany Nursing Centers. He was a local liaison to Camp Rising Sun, an international scholarship camp for young men.

Bobby was steadfast in his faith, gentle in his strength and delightful and kind in his humor. He will be remembered for his lifelong love of learning, as a teacher and mentor, and as an encourager of all.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Horace Zack Smith Sr. and Sallie Woodcock Smith; and by his siblings, Horace Zack Smith Jr. and Sarah Elizabeth Smith Jennings.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary Janette Agan Smith; and children, Bob (Lisa) Smith, Marian (Al) NeSmith and Edwin (Leslie) Smith. He was loved and cherished by his grandchildren, Robert and Carolyn Smith, Garrett (Margaret) NeSmith, Jenny (Zach) Pancoast, Caitlin and Thomas Smith; by one great-granddaughter, Hudson NeSmith; and by a host of nieces and nephews, whom he dearly loved.

The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 16, at the Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church with Elder Randy Waters officiating, following a private burial. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to The Statesboro Primitive Baptist Church, 4 South Zetterower Avenue, Statesboro, GA 30458; to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459; or to Georgia Southern University, P.O. Box 1107, Statesboro, GA 30459.

Friends may sign the online register book at

Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home & Crematory of Statesboro is in charge of arrangements.

Statesboro Herald, March 16, 2023

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