Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The End of an Era

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we, the children of Robert O. Smith--original Bench Bozo, "Masked Avocado", Dr. Zingrr, Walter Wart the Freaky Frog, lifting legend and so much more--announce his untimely passing at the age of 67 from pancreatic and liver cancer. Unlike Ronnie James Dio, he was NOT--to the best of our knowledge--eaten by a dragon, but surely there was some strange "disturbance in the force" or cosmic kryptonite that finally brought down our very own superhero of a father.

His wishes were simple--no public memorial, no digital gold-plated turbo-casket with fine cordovan leather interior and motion-activated whirling Mercedes-Benz hood ornament. He requested cremation and a celebration of life among his closest friends.

If you would honor him, keep on doing what you do--bench with the best of your ability and passion, striving ever toward bigger and better lifts, or create art and sound, inspired by his memory. We will keep that memory alive and continue to update Bench Bozo and All Hail Thorndike Pickledish, sharing images and his original drawings from a lifetime dedicated to lifting and creativity. Our thanks to all who knew, loved, and shared that dedication with him. We will love and miss him always.

-Justine Wintersmith and Zach Monroe


Blogger Garett said...

I am truly saddened by this news. He was a really interesting person. I sold him the Soloflex a few years back. I kept in touch with him, and am very sorry to hear of his passing. He is one of the people that tried to encourage me to become involved with competitive powerlifting. I haven't taken that up yet.

We have a mutual local hero and friend, Doug Hepburn, who had inspired and encouraged us both to get strong and healthy and showed us how it can be done without steroids.

RIP my friend. So sorry that you are gone. You will be missed by many.



11:10 AM  
Blogger GizaCat said...

What a great talent and over all nice guy he was. I met him several times over the years and he was a sweetheart! When he was doing the graveyard shift at KVI in the 1970s, I would sometimes meet him for breakfast after his shift and we'd share lots of great laughs. It was a great way to start my day. My last contact with him was a few years ago, not long after I got married again. He remembered me from my photo. My husband lost both his father and sister to the same form of cancer that claimed Robert O. So I know only too well what your family is going through.
God Bless you all.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

Bob-O was a mentor to me. He and Doc Harris gave me my first breaks in the VO biz back when they were on CFMI. With his help I made quite a career out of it. We worked together on many many occasions and he was a good dude. Crazy in all the right ways.

I'm sad to say I didn't even realize he was ill. I want to let the world know that he was instrumental in giving me the confidence to stick to my career. He knew that, but I'm disappointed that I didn't get the chance to say it again to him in person before he passed.

My best regards,

1:18 PM  
Blogger Hal said...

I was fortunate to have known Robert for almost 48 years. I was an announcer at KAHI in Auburn, California, when Robert came in to talk about his doing some stand-up comedy routines. His first ones he did at his high school in Auburn. He went on to become one of the best voice actors in the business. We had many happy times together. My wife, our three sons, and I already miss him very deeply. To Justine and Zach, know that your dad was, and still is, loved by more people than you may be able to imagine.

Hal Swift
Sparks, Nevada

7:56 PM  
Blogger Julia Livingstone said...

Bob's blog posting for Thorndyke Pickledish, one of his comic alter-ego's, has more comments posted from friends who knew him, as well ... See all of them at Robert O's blog:


5:10 AM  
Blogger zaitsoff said...

my name is bonnie tymofievich your father was a great friend and more to me. he taught me to believe in myself and was there for me when nooneelse was.he will be sorely missed.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Warren said...

His passing was a great shock, he is a great person and a great friend and always will be as long as we remeber him..go in peace Robert and don't forget to wait for the command "press" :)
You will be and are missed..thanks for being a friend..


4:51 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

Robert O. Smith - KAHI Auburn CA; KHOE Tahoe NV; KOWL South Lake Tahoe NV; KLAV Las Vegas NV; KMBY Monterey CA 1966; KJR Seattle 1967; KSND Seattle; KOL Seattle 1968-71; KTAC Tacoma 1972; KVI Seattle 1977; KIXI-FM Seattle; CFMI-FM Vancouver early 1980s; CISL Vancouver; CKMA Abbotsford; voiceovers; animation; world record power lifter.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Tony Tomra said...

It's been a year buddy, I was setting a bench shirt for a guy last night. While I was torqueing the sleeves I was thinking about you. Miss the talks we had.

4:48 AM  
Blogger peasant woman said...

oh dear. I was once a powerlifter and came to know Robert O. in the early 90s in Vancouver. He was kind to me, and encouraging. I don't know why, but he has been much on my mind the last few days. it's sad to hear of his death. it's been a year now, but I'm sure his absence is sharply felt still by his loved ones. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. He's one of those folks I always thought i'd see again...
sending love
Erin Graham

10:24 AM  
Blogger Lawrence Lam said...

I'm deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I was amazed by his hilarious personality, tremendous spirit and kind heart, even though I only spoke to him through e-mail and never met him in person. I'm glad to have known him for a short while, and my condolences to his family and others who were close to him. The world has lost an amazing person.

12:21 AM  

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