World War II veteran known as 'Singing Grandpa' dies at 100

Posted at 6:47 PM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-02 14:18:25-04

FLORENCE, Ky. -- Robert Smith, the World War II veteran known as the "Singing Grandpa," died this week. He was 100. 

When WCPO profiled Smith on his birthday a few months ago, he said the key to reaching 100 was to "have a positive attitude and enjoy life." He also shared a few songs with a reporter.

"He remembers the oldies a lot of people don't remember anymore," said his son, Robert William Smith Jr.

Smith Sr. sang with The Harmonizers, a group he joined when he was 65. He also sang at work, and he worked for many years. He sold suits at JC Penney from the ages of 78 to 88.

His son remembered him as a hard worker and as a man who taught him a lot.

"Taught me how to fish, shoot a bow and arrow," he said. "Let me cut the grass probably younger than I should've. Good home, good to come home to."

Smith Jr. also recalled his father's positive attitude.

"He was a kind man. I believe everyone enjoyed being around him," Smith Jr. said. "He had a good sense of humor he got from his family, his mom and dad."