Cover photo for Judge Robert Adams Smoak, Jr.'s Obituary
Judge Robert Adams Smoak, Jr. Profile Photo

Judge Robert Adams Smoak, Jr.

September 3, 1943 — July 30, 2023

Aiken, SC

Judge (Retired) Robert Adams Smoak, Jr., of Aiken, died Sunday July 30, 2023. Shellhouse Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Bob was born on September 3, 1943, in Wilmington, NC to the late Robert A. Smoak, a career Army officer and native of Bamberg, SC and Margery Toole Smoak, a native of Aiken. After living with his family in many locations in the United States and Germany, Bob graduated from The Citadel in 1965 with a B.A. Degree in History. After serving two years on active duty as an Army Lieutenant, including one year in Vietnam, Bob eventually received a J.D. Degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the South Carolina Bar the same year, 1973. After practicing law for several years with the Toole Family Law Firm in Aiken, in January of 1986, Bob was appointed Master-In-Equity (presiding Judge of the Equity Division of the Circuit Court) for Aiken County, in which position he proudly served until his retirement in May of 2011.

Bob was predeceased by his parents and his brother, Frank Andrew Smoak. He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Mary Hope Smoak; his son, Lawrence Henry Smoak of Acworth, GA; his daughter, Catherine Smoak Eirvin (Matthew), grandsons, Hampton Smoak and Thomas Wells Eirvin of Pawleys Island, SC.; his sister, Pamela Smoak Baatz (John), nephew, Brian Nettles (Georgia) and Courtney Diamond of Charleston; and several cousins, great nephews and nieces.   

Bob was an avid student of history, primarily ancient and Pre-20th century, and had a particular interest in antique firearms. Bob was a lifelong railroad enthusiast and locally regarded as an authority on railroads and railroad history, serving as a director of Friends of the Aiken Railroad Depot almost since its inception. He was an accomplished poet and songwriter and amassed an impressive assortment of musical instruments, all of which he played, sometimes publicly. Throughout his life, he enjoyed summers at, and visits to, Bluffton, SC, where he met Mary, also a third-generation Bluffton summer resident.

A Celebration of Life for Bob will be held at 3:00 PM Monday, August 28, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church with the Reverend Dr. Chris Erde officiating.  A reception will follow at the church.

Memorial arrangements will be made at a later date. The family requests that any memorial gifts be made to Friends of the Aiken Railroad Depot.


To send flowers to the family in memory of Judge Robert Adams Smoak, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, August 28, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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First Presbyterian Church

224 Barnwell Ave NE
Aiken, SC 29801

A reception will follow at the church.

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