Robert George Smola

Robert George Smola, Jr. of Newport News, passed away on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at his residence after a brief illness.

He leaves behind his mother, Anne Lovell Williams; sister, Anne Smola Helms; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A graveside service will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at Peninsula Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society or a charitable animal foundation of your choice.


  1. Neda Baxter

    I will miss all of our late night calls. What a dear friend Robert was to me. My heart break for his Mother, Ann, he loved her dearly and I have no idea what that loss is like. I met Robert about 30 years ago and we went thru some crazy times together. We had many talks about politics, religion, previous relationships and our love for animals. He meant the world to me and I’m not sure how I see this world without him. I took him to the doctor a few days before his passing and I remember praying that he not suffer any longer, for that I thank God he took him soon after. He told me he didn’t want to live any longer and now I know he is free of any pain now. Rest peacefully my friend until we meet again. Love, Neda

  2. Jackie Weinberg

    I have known Robrt since 1970, when I met him on the beach in Nags Head. I would like to share some memories of him that I hold dear to my heart.
    I moved to Atlanta in 1972 with my boyfriend, George McMurran. Robert was with his girlfriend, Penny Dwyer. We rented a very large house on St. Louis Place. The four of us shared it with several other friends from Georgia Tech.
    I noticed that most of George’s friends had nicknames, and that’s where I got mine. We had just eaten dinner one night, I was bushed, and Robert came behind me, put a paper bag on my head, and crowned me queen SAK. In the last phone conversation we had, he still called me SAK.
    Many years later, Robert was invited by one of my friends, Terry Smith, to attend the big dance of our class reunion. I did not know he was invited. So to my surprise, when I walked in the door, there he was. Robert had never seen me with makeup, with my hair styled up and wearing a fancy black evening dress. That is when he gave me a second nickname, Zsa Zsa Weinberg.
    He would call me every few months to catch up on what was going on in our lives. We talked a lot about our health. He was waiting on a liver transplant, and I was going to have Deep Brain Stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s.
    In closing, I must let everyone know what a wonderful friend Ray Hawthorne has been to Robert, helping him during his illness in every way possible.
    It’s tough when you lose friends who are so dear to you. I will truly miss Robert and his abiding friendship.

    Jackie Weinberg

  3. Garry Bunting

    I met Robert a couple decades ago. It didn’t take long to realize he was “unique”, but absolutely genuine. I will forever have a picture of him in my mind sitting at the corner of Neda’s bar at TG’s…tan shirt, blue jeans, and a corvette hat. He could hold a conversation with kings or paupers and entertain us all. RIP Robert

  4. Emily Hausler

    I remember, as children, Robert and I spent summers bicycling the neighborhood together. We were the youngest kids in both our families and also the quiet ones in the families. I have many happy memories of Robert, a kind soul with a true heart. Rest in peace, dear cousin.

  5. Beonwyn Evans

    Robert was my friend for many years, beginning in high school. When we both were residing in Atlanta in the 70’s we got to know each other quite well and had wonderful conversations. When I returned to Virginia 11 years ago I was so happy to connect with him again. He was such a kind, gentle person with an open heart. His passing has left a bih hole in my heart. I can’t imagine the sadness and loss his family feels and I pray that they find peace and comfort as they reall what a special person he was.

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