Rev. Robert S. Smethers Jr.96, Albright College director

By on February 22, 2012

Rev. Robert S. Smethers Jr. died Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. He was 96 years old and lived at Luther Acres retirement community in Lititz.

His beloved wife of 69 years, Muriel C. Smethers, preceded him in death on Jan. 29, 2009.

He was born in Berwick. Early in life he moved with his parents, Robert and Helen Smethers Sr., and surviving sister, Ines Spangenberg, to Harrisburg.

He attended William Penn High School, studied electrical engineering at his alma mater, Penn State University, and received his degree in theology from the Evangelical Seminary at Albright College. Robert and Muriel were married in 1940. Their first assignment was the Evangelical Church in Fleetwood. In 1943 they relocated to Reading, where he was the pastor for 11 years at Emmanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church on South Sixth St.

In 1954 he joined the administration of Albright College as director of church and public relations and served in various positions until his retirement in 1985.

Always an active minister, he supported congregations, including Salem United Methodist Church in Rothsville from 1965 to 1987, and West Lawn United Methodist Church near Reading.

Robert is survived by his daughter: Nancy Smethers, of Lancaster; and son: David, husband of Joan Smethers, of Tucson. His grandchildren are Jeffrey Smethers, Rachel, wife of Tom Carper; Tania, wife of Floyd Phillips; and Traci, wife of Ken Romo; and eight great-grandchildren: Ryan, Addison, Maggie, Max, Corbin, Samantha, Ian and Lillian.

Funeral services were held on Feb. 21 at the Salem United Methodist Church, Lititz, with Pastor David Unangst presiding. Interment took place in the Brownstown cemetery followed by lunch at the church.

Memorial contributions in Robert’s memory may be made to his church, Salem United Methodist Church, c/o Memorial Fund, 1744 Old Rothsville Road, Lititz, PA 17543.

Arrangements were made by Stradling Funeral Homes Inc., Akron/Ephrata. Online condolences can be given at

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