Robert C. Smithson

1935 - 2021



Robert Carl Smithson of Cohasset (formerly of Hingham) died peacefully in his sleep following a brief and courageous battle with cancer on March 26 at the age of 86.

Bob will be dearly missed by his beloved wife, Patricia Hughes Smithson. In addition to his wife, he leaves his two children, Lynne Smithson-Ford and husband Kevin Ford of Hanover, MA, Sara Smithson and wife Ellie Keohane of Hingham, grandchildren Dominic and Christian Ford of Hanover and his brother Donald G. Smithson and wife Gail of Brewster, MA. He also leaves his stepchildren Fiona and husband Kevin McDonnell of Hollis, New Hampshire, Diane Hughes and husband Ray of the UK, Sara Hughes and husband William Greentree of Bexley, Ohio, David Hughes and fiancé Sandra Nicholson of Cohasset and New York, grandchildren Alexander Wood and wife Helen of UK, Owen McDonnell of Portsmouth, NH, Henry Greentree of Bexley, Ohio, great grandchildren George, Ivy and Jessica Wood of the UK, and several cousins, nieces and nephews with whom he shared many happy times on Cape Cod.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Diane F. Smithson of Hingham, MA, and his parents George and Tina F. Smithson of West Yarmouth.

Bob was born in Hyannis, Ma. As a young boy, he had a large paper route and claimed he could walk from West Yarmouth to Hyannis through the woods. At Yarmouth High School Bob played trombone with the school band and enjoyed taking his small boat around Hyannis harbor, often chasing larger sail boats as they made their way out to Nantucket. He earned the rank of Eagle Scout and attended the Boy Scout Jamboree in Texas.  Bob was a graduate of Bryant College, where he enjoyed working as photographer for the college newspaper and earned a degree in business administration. Following seven years of service in the National Guard, Bob worked his entire 40-year career at John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company where he retired as head of their creditor insurance business.

In retirement Bob involved himself in volunteer activities including serving as Treasurer of Bare Cove Park Committee in Hingham. He also enjoyed taking care of his home and yard, bird watching, dining and sharing good wine with family and friends. Trips to London with his wife, Pat, were particularly dear to his heart.

The burial will be a small, private graveside service. A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at a later date. The family thanks the Norwell Visiting Nurse Association for the extraordinary and compassionate care they provided during this difficult time.

For those who are interested and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to

NVNA and Hospice in memory of Robert C. Smithson at


Brigham & Women’s Hospital in memory of Robert C. Smithson to honor Allan H. Roper MD, Executive Vice Chair of Neurology, Department of Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Checks may be mailed to:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital | Development Office, 116 Huntington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02116

Donations may also be made online at:

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160 South Main Street, P.O. BOX 431 (actual 1 Summer St.), Cohasset, MA

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7 trees planted in memory of Robert


Diane, Ray, Alexander, Helen and children xx

April 4, 2021 12:58 AM

Bob will remain in our hearts forever. May these trees grow as our love for Bob grew over the years.
From England we send our love over the seas to remember Bob.
Diane, Ray, Alexander, Helen and children xx

A Grove of 3 Memorial Trees was planted in memory of Robert C. Smithson

Expression of Sympathy

April 5, 2021 3:51 PM

Deepest sympathies on the loss of your father, Sara. Thinking of you, your sister and Ellie during this difficult time.

With love,

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Paula Sasso

April 5, 2021 2:25 PM


A very fitting memorial to your Dad and his love for nature!
Paula Sasso

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A Memorial Tree was ordered in memory of Robert C. Smithson by Paula Sasso.  Plant a Tree


April 5, 2021 2:16 PM

Sara, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your sister.

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A Memorial Tree was ordered in memory of Robert C. Smithson by Lisa .  Plant a Tree

A Memorial Tree was planted for Robert C. Smithson

April 2, 2021 10:27 AM
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home
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