Bob Smith remembered as a business leader

October 22, 2013


Bob Smith

Bob Smith

SCOTTVILLE – Bob Smith is being remembered today as a great businessman and a supporter of his community. The 61-year-old owner of Smith & Eddy Insurance died Monday afternoon. However, his business, which has offices in Scottville, Ludington and Manistee, will continue on, as will his legacy.

While Bob’s death was a shock to everyone, he was prepared for everything. “Bob’s loss will be felt throughout the community and certainly in this company,” said Scott Smith, Ludington branch manager. “A succession plan is in place and we will continue to operate business as usual. Bob was a great leader and one of the traits of a good leader is the ability to delegate. We have a strong management team and a great staff of dedicated employees. Smith and Eddy will continue to function and we will continue to prosper because of the great leadership of Bob Smith.”

Scott Smith described his boss as a man who had strong values towards his hometown and towards the outdoors.

“Bob believed in Scottville. He was one of very few people who was willing to take a risk and invest in a new building in downtown. He knew that by taking the lead others would follow and it would build momentum. But, that’s how he ran his entire business, by taking risks. That’s what a true businessman does.”

He was also a conservationist. “Bob was very active in many area conservation and outdoors organizations. I remember 10 years ago he was already preaching about quality deer management. He just loved every aspect of the outdoors. Besides his family, hunting and fishing were his passions.”

Community leaders said Bob’s death is a great loss.

“I was both shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Bob’s passing,” said Scottville City Manager Amy Williams. “I’ve known Bob for almost 16 years and he was one of the first people who welcomed me to town. Bob was always very supportive of the city and served on the city commission as well as other commissions, the fire department and boards over the years. Bob was a true supporter of Scottville in so many ways and this is a loss for everyone. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers now go out to his wife Patty and his entire family.”

“All I can think of is what a shock and a huge loss this is to our community,” said Kathy Maclean, president/CEO of the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce.

“No matter what the event, it seemed that Bob was always willing to be involved, even it was by giving financially,” Scott Smith said.

Bob had been on the West Shore Bank board of directors for 28 years.

“Bob really cared a lot for the community and was proud to say that he grew up here and lived here,” said Ray Biggs, president/CEO of West Shore Bank. “He was an advocate for doing business locally and supporting all aspects of the community. His father had a major impact on the community and Bob continued to do the same. This is very sad and was very sudden. His death is a great loss to the community but we can celebrate the life that he lived and the legacy he leaves behind.”

Wyman Funeral Services of Scottville is handling arrangements. More information will be posted when available.

History of the agency, from the company’s website:

The history of Smith & Eddy Insurance can be traced back to 1902 when in was known as the McPhail and Cole Agency. In 1930, I. J. Eddy joined the agency as its manager.

In June of 1946 Major Robert J. Smith returned from duty in World War II and opened the Smith Insurance Agency. He competed with the McPhail and Cole Agency until 1949 when it was mutually agreed to merge the two agencies. Mr. Eddy and Mr. Smith co-managed the agency until 1952 when the Smith and Eddy Insurance Agency was established.

In 1957 Mr. Eddy announced his retirement. Mr. Smith promised him that as long as he was alive, his name would “remain on the shingle” and a desk would be available for him. Mr. Eddy passed away in 1978 at the age of 96, however, his name still remains on the shingle.

Snyder Insurance Agency merged with Smith & Eddy Insurance, Inc in November of 2010. Another merger occurred in February 2011 with the Villadsen Agency. The additional experienced personnel and carriers are welcome assets to serving our clients.



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