HAMMOND, Robyn Elizabeth Gail Smith, 68, of Wheeling, died Saturday, April 16th after a five year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was pre-deceased by her parents, Beverly Kay Smith and Dr. David H. Smith of Canada, and her sister Beverly Jill Anita Smith of Wheeling.
She is survived by her three sons, Michael Hammond, of New Mexico and his wife Kimberly Corante; Andrew Hammond, of Wheeling and his wife Brittney; and David S. Hammond, of Columbus, and five siblings, Scott Smith, of Wheeling and his wife, Holli; Lisa Smith, of
Wheeling; Pamela Smith, of Durango, Colorado; Duane Smith, of Arcata, CA; and Sean Smith, of Arlington, VA.
Robyn was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1954. Robyn’s parents, Kay and David, emigrated to the United States in 1955. After residing in Utica, New York and later Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania, they came to live in Wheeling in 1961 when David joined the Wheeling Clinic. In Wheeling, Robyn attended Wheeling Country Day School and Mount de Chantal Academy, where she graduated in 1972. She then became a member of the first class to include women at the University of Notre Dame, receiving a degree with honors in religious studies in
1976. While attending, Robyn was baptized as a Catholic in the University’s Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
She continued her education by completing a Master’s Degree in Education from Spalding University. Her passion for teaching continued throughout her entire life. She taught in many schools after receiving her degrees and ultimately returned to her beloved Mount de Chantal as a teacher upon returning to Wheeling. She taught there for several years and eventually served as the school’s principal. In the early 2000s, Robyn joined the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s Department of Catholic Schools as Director of Religion, and by her retirement in 2017 was
serving as Associate Superintendent. Robyn consistently made deep and lasting impressions on those she met in the schools she attended, the places she worked, the classrooms she taught in, and the places she went. She had heartfelt connections and lifelong friendships with many people, including classmates from the Mount and Notre Dame, colleagues from the Diocese, and friends and neighbors from the many places she lived.
Her interests and gifts were numerous and varied. She was an avid and voracious reader, a talented artist, an enthusiastic gardener, a learned student of history and politics, a lover of music, a passionate educator, and had a keen appreciation for beauty in all its forms. Robyn also loved to travel, especially to South Bend, IN, where she frequently went with her sons to Notre Dame football games, or just to visit the campus when she had the opportunity.
Robyn cherished her family, speaking frequently of how much she adored her parents and how much love she had for her sisters and brothers. She also often said that her favorite job was being a mother to her three children. She loved as a parent wholeheartedly and imparted to them a love of learning, a commitment to kindness and keeping an open heart, an appreciation of nature and elegance, and dedication to family and friends. Well known and admired for her incredibly sharp mind, her steadfastness, her commitment to her spiritual and civic morality, her endless warmth, her quiet dignity, her love to laugh, her gentleness, her ever-present smile, and her determination, she will be missed by all who knew her, and especially by her family that she loved beyond measure.
Interment will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Wheeling, where she will be laid to rest with her parents. Donations may be made in Robyn’s memory to the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute for Alzheimers Research at WVU, Catholic Charities of West Virginia, and the National Audubon Society.