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5801 South Lyndale Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Phone: 612-861-6088
Fax: 612-861-4543
About An Amazing Life|Help

Robert Jay "Jay"
Smith

February 25, 1929 – October 1, 2018

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Robert Smith
Memorial Candles Lit for Robert | SEE ALL
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Bloomington

Obituary for Robert Jay "Jay" Smith

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Robert “Jay” Smith passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday Oct. 1 at age 89. Preceded in death by infant son, Clayton; parents, Jay and Estelle; brother, Richard; nephews, Jamie and Duane; brother-in-laws, Warren Kahnke, Lyle Kahnke and Terry Baumann; sister-in- laws, Dorothy Kahnke and Sharon Smith. Survived by Bonnie, his wife of 61 years; sons, Chip (Shelley), Robin (Jackie), Mitch (Kristy), Murray (Shannon), and Quent (Mary); grandchildren, Megan, Matt, Nick, Jessica, Natalie, Breanna, Travis, Hannah, Holly, Gabe, Emily, Sam, Ben, Maria, Luke, Ava, Elijah, Abbi and Jerritt; brother, Jim Smith (Wendy); sister, Donna Baumann; cousins and extended family in Minnesota and Illinois.

Jay was born in Chicago in 1929, the year of the great stock market crash. He attended Catholic schools in Chicago until his family moved to St. Paul for a job transfer during his high school years. After graduating from Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul, he enlisted in the Navy Reserve then the Air Force and was stationed at various locations in Europe.

Upon completing his military enlistment, Jay returned to St. Paul where he met Bonnie Kahnke. Chicago smooth meets farm girl — a magical combo to last a lifetime. Jay and Bonnie were married in 1957 and blessed with 5 boys over the next 7 years. Jay worked in sales and merchandising support before finding his niche with a fast emerging company called Control Data. He stayed with Control Data and its successor companies as a technical writer until 1990 when he moved to Donaldson Company. He met many lifelong friends at both companies and took great pride in his work. His attention to detail served him well at home where he was the consummate handyman. From home improvements to car repair, there was no project or challenge too big to tackle. His methodical analysis and attention to the smallest detail meant the job was always done right.

Jay loved big band swing music and could light the dance floor up with Bonnie. When the boys listened to their “rock” music, he would often ask “How can you understand the words?”. Swing music was “the good music”.

Family was the focus of Jay’s life right to his final days. From school to music and sports, he was always there to support his boys, rarely missing a school conference, concert or game.

As the sons married and started their own families, the family tree grew rapidly with 19 grand kids. Jay and Bonnie shared every major holiday with family and they were always big events. Grand kids especially enjoyed his stories, big hugs, and surprise appearances as Santa at Christmas.

The family wishes to extend its sincere gratitude to the staff at Presbyterian Homes Chanhassen and at Friendship Village for their care of Jay over the past year.
Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at Nativity of Mary Catholic Church, 9900 Lyndale Avenue South, Bloomington, MN with visitation one hour prior. Private interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The family asks that any donations or memorials be donated to Catholic Charities.

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BLOOMINGTON, MN 952 888 7771

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Visitation

When Saturday, October 27th, 2018 10:00am - 11:00am
Location
Nativity of Mary Catholic Church
Address
9900 Lyndale Ave S
Bloomington, MN

Service Information

When
Saturday, October 27th, 2018 11:00am
Location
Nativity of Mary Catholic Church
Address
9900 Lyndale Ave S
Bloomington, MN

Interment Information

Location
Fort Snelling National Cemetery
Address
7601 34th Avenue, South
Minneapolis, MN 55450