December 13, 1939 – January 29, 2023
Reprint Girdner Funeral Chapel
Robert Earl Smiley, Jr. (Bob), born 12-13-1939 passed away on January 29, 2023 at the age of 83. He went to Heaven surrounded by Marlene, his children, his sister Francine and a large number of his Grandchildren in Yreka.
Bob had a positive attitude, encouraging outlook towards life and was known for his “no-frills, just the facts ma’am” style. Bob was born on December 13, 1939 in San Jose. His life centered around his love for family and hard work. Growing up in Grants Pass, Oregon with his parents and sister, he attended elementary through high school. Bob was devoted to raising and showing livestock, earning many 4-H honors. These included: numerous San Francisco Cow Palace Beef Cattle Grand Champions, Cow Palace Livestock Judging Team Championships, Josephine County Fair Grand Champion Southdown Sheep winner, as well as several Portland International Livestock Exhibition awards. His life-long love of horses and riding began with he and his sister’s beloved mare Goldie; the horse that he enjoyed so much, competed on and won several horse show titles.
Bob attended Fresno State University for a short time before moving to Scott Valley. During his early career in Scott Valley he leased and operated several ranches, traded and ran cattle throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California and fed yearlings in numerous feedlots throughout the state. Bob’s brief ownership interest in a Caldwell, Idaho saleyard ended early as Bob was drafted into the Military. He served in Korea from 1963 to 1965. During that time he received top military honors and awards for his rifle marksmanship.
After his military service, Bob returned to Scott Valley and married Marlene Marlahan. He thrived being outdoors and particularly enjoyed the logging and cattle industries. He, along with Marlene, owned and operated the Last Chance Liquor Bar in Hornbrook, California, a Laundromat in Fort Jones, California and founded and operated Smiley Logging which operated during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. His affection for the timber industry carries on as sons’ Dale and Dean Smiley founded and operate Smiley Brother’s logging. During his retirement Bob worked in Alaska for a large helicopter logging outfit and continued working for Smiley Brother’s Logging. He also thoroughly enjoyed his time spent on the range, gathering and working cattle with Marlene and their kids. Bob was proud of his Grandchildren and all that they accomplished. He could be found at their basketball games, track and cross-country meets, rodeos and watching baseball from his car, while Marlene honked to let the kids know they were there and cheering. Bob, rarely shied from providing his opinion, often sharing that his college education came from ‘life experiences’ and the ‘school-of-hard-knocks’.
He was loved by his family, respected by friends and peers and he will be greatly missed. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marlene Smiley, his loving children, Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and his sister Francine Hahn and her husband George of Yreka. A private military graveside service will be held in honor of Bob. His family is gathering and inviting all extended family and friends to join in a Celebration of Life on March 25, 2023 at 3:00 PM at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Fort Jones. Bob’s family is grateful for Madrone Hospice in Yreka. Their compassion and professionalism during such times was remarkable and appreciated. The family encourages donations be made to Madrone Hospice, Inc., 255 Collier Circle, Yreka, CA 96097.