Monday, 15 July 2024

Roberta Mae Smith

Roberta Mae Smith. Courtesy photo.


Roberta Mae Smith became a star in our sky on Jan. 23, 2024, after being attacked by a shark while surfing in Hawaii.

Born Sept. 9, 1950, to Robert and Lois Lloyd in Oakland, California, Known affectionately as “Bobbie” to friends and family.

Her precious life was one of love, strength, and unwavering devotion to her children and grandchildren. Her family was her world, and she poured her heart and soul into caring for each and every one of them.

Whether it was a listening ear, or sage advice, Bobbie's presence brought warmth and reassurance to those around her.

As a professional singer and entertainer, Bobbie shared her passion for music with countless audiences around the Bay Area, Lake and Mendocino counties, Reno, Tahoe and the Hawaiian Islands as the lead singer of her band Holy Smoke.

For almost 50 years her vibrant performances lit up the stage, captivating audiences with her incredibly soulful voice and natural stage presence. Beyond the spotlight, she loved to entertain! She was a devoted party planner, infusing every gathering with laughter, music and infectious energy. She planned parties for everyone and everything! She loved to celebrate life with the ones she loved.

One of her elaborate events was her famous Ye Olde Tracy Street Christmas Faire in San Lorenzo, California, where she transformed her Victorian home into a bustling craft faire, and folks would line up around the block to attend.

The pinnacle of her party planning would have to be both her daughters' weddings which she planned, played and produced for close to 200 people both times. During these events Bobbie poured herself into the details making these precious life moments even more special through her incredible creativity and extreme thoughtfulness.

Bobbie's impact extended far beyond her immediate circle; she was deeply vested in her community. She organized on behalf of the Anderson Springs Water District to preserve the watershed, rallying community members to retain their water rights and insure purity when it was threatened in the late 1980s.

She was the president of the Anderson Springs Homeowners Association and Recreational Area for many years, transforming the facilities and offerings from disrepair to the cornerstone of community life in the region. If you grew up in south Lake County in the late 1980s and 1990s you definitely attended a labor day dance or went to the weekly bingo and ice cream parties. A continuation of the vacation culture of Lake County from the 1950s and 1960s that Bobbie helped to preserve for another generation of families to bond around.

Born and raised in the Bay Area during the heart of the cultural revolution, Bobbie was a lifelong flower child and peace activist. Her dedication to social justice and human rights was fostered as a small child and continued throughout her life. She fearlessly stood up for what was right, advocating for equality and fairness for all. Her advocacy was not just a cause; it was a reflection of her deeply held values and unwavering commitment to making the world a better place for ALL children, not just hers.

Despite her larger-than-life presence Bobbie remained ever authentic, outspoken and devoted to her vision of a peaceful planet until her last breath.

Bobbie was down-to-earth. Her humor and storytelling were legendary, sharing joy, laughter and a little dose of shade for good measure. She had a gift for connecting with people, making everyone feel seen and valued.

Bobbie's love for people led her to Hawaii, where she discovered a profound family connection to the islands she adored when she took her entire family on a luxurious vacation to Kauai when her mother passed away. She rented a huge house right on the beach and treated all her kids and grandkids to a dream tropical vacation.

Bobbie was smitten by the culture and the natural beauty and for eight years, Hawaii became her home, where she forged deep roots and cherished memories.One of the crowning glories of that era was her playing the famous Punalu’u Black Sands Beach Luau for hundreds of Hawaiian people who boogied to her soulful songs deep into the tropical night.

Yet, Lake County, California, held a special place in her heart and in 2017 she returned to the mainland so she could see her family and friends more. She made her last home in Nice, California, by the lake she treasured, and within view of Mount Konocti.

Though Bobbie may have taken her final bow, her spirit lives on in the timeless melodies she left behind. In her honor let us carry forward the legacy of love and music she so cherished. May her songs continue to echo in our hearts, a testament to the beauty of a life well-lived and a love that knows no bounds.

Bobbie is predeceased by her mother, Lois Lloyd; father, Robert J. Lloyd; sister, Nikeeta Hill; and cousin, Charlene Larimore.

She leaves behind her husband, Mark Smith of Nice, California; nephew, Robert “Michael” Hill of Nice; eldest daughter, Fonta Molyneaux, son-in-law, Matthew, and grandchildren, Lilyana, River and Lylah of Eugene, Oregon; youngest daughter, Nova White, son-in-law, Richard White, and grandchildren, Conifer and Cypress of Chico, California.

To hear the Roberta Mae archives, visit https://on.soundcloud.com/WzjajpMJrZPsQXzF7.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to www.Mother-Wise.org, a secular organization devoted to maternal and child mental health through early intervention and resources around Lake County, California.

Arrangements by Chapel of the Lakes Mortuary, 707-263-0357 or 707-994-5611, or visit www.chapelofthelakes.com.

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