COOPERSTOWN – Robert Whitehill Smith, this country’s oldest living heart transplant patient, passed away Tuesday evening, Nov. 3, 2015, at Whitehill Cottage, his home in the Town of Middlefield, after a valiant struggle against cancer. He was 77.
Born Feb. 2, 1938, in Flushing, Queens, Bob was a son of Charles and Theodora (Miller) Smith.
After graduating from Bay Side High School, he enlisted in the Air Force on Feb. 5, 1957. He served as an Air Policeman with the 54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and was stationed for one year in San Antonio, Texas, 18 months in South Korea, and 12 months at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D. He received his honorable discharge from the military on Nov. 4, 1960, having achieved the rank of Airman Second Class, and continued serving his country in the Reserves.