In Memoriam: Robert R. Smith, 82

Chase Veteran Formerly EVP, Chief Credit Officer, Chase Bank of Florida

Robert R. (Bob) Smith, 82, former EVP and Chief Credit Officer, Chase Bank of Florida, died at his home in Safety Harbor, FL, on  on September 26, 2013.

Born in Denver, CO, he joined Chase National Bank as a credit man in 1953, shortly after earning a BA in economics from Trinity College, Hartford, CT.  He was a member of the Executive Training program in 1958-59. Over the course of his career, he worked in credit, wholesale lending, credit supervision, real estate lending, factoring and the commercial finance, bond and planning departments. In 1966 Bob served as a loan executive with the International Executive Service Corps in Asunción, Paraguay. Returning to Chase, he was an account manager in the Times Square and Herald Square branches. In 1987 he transferred to the newly-established Chase Bank of Florida and retired in 1989.

Bob was a member of Robert Morris Associates in the New York and Tampa chapters, a member of the National Association of Credit Men, and an associate member of the Urban Land Institute.  He was a member of the Finance Subcommittee of the New York World’s Fair from 1962 through 1965, and served as an officer of the Staten Island Museum and Institute of Natural History.

Over the years Bob cultivated many activities and hobbies. He was a private pilot, sailor, fisherman, and lapidary.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Theresa Ann Smith, and his son, Robert, of Columbia, MD; and two granddaughters. 

Memorial gifts may be made to Suncoast Hospice.

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From John Jerow: Sorry to learn of Bob’s death.  Bob was a great and honorable guy and a good banker. I spent some limited time in Florida to assist him with the acquisition and integration of Chase Bank of Florida. I remember a problem with a young secretary in the credit area who was promised a salary increase pre-acquisition by Chase, which was denied post-acquisition because "the Chase people would not like it."  For whatever reason she brought the issue to me; I, in term, because I was only on temporary duty in Florida, took the issue to Bob.  Without missing a beat, he said, "I'll fix it" and it was. True Chase class. My condolences to his wife and family.