Pulaski Technical College has lost one of its campus treasures with the passing of Officer Robert Otis Smith.
Officer Smith died Tuesday, Jan.13, just one day shy of his 52nd birthday.
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 16, from 1-4 p.m. in the Pulaski Technical College Campus Center Grand Hall (Side A). A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at Premier Funeral Home, at 1518 South Battery St., in Little Rock.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family may be made through Pulaski Technical College. Checks may be made payable to the Sunshine Fund and given to Tena Carrigan or Leslie Cloer.
Officer Smith had been a familiar face to Pulaski Tech students, staff and faculty. He joined the campus police department in February 1998 and had worked at both the Main campus and at Little Rock-West on Kanis.
"He was a very, very loyal officer and always had a kind word for everyone," said Pulaski Technical College Police Chief Mark Stafford. "We're going to miss him greatly."
In 2005, Smith was honored at the college's annual faculty and staff luncheon with the Quenton C. Burge Award for Service Excellence, honoring his service and dedication to the college for the 2004-2005 year.
Prior to working at Pulaski Tech, Smith had worked as a public safety officer at Camp Robinson's Fire/Police Department. Since 1990, Officer Smith also worked part-time as a security guard at the Kroger store on Pershing Avenue in North Little Rock, not far from the main campus.
Known all over campus, Smith was both respected and loved by his campus colleagues. Though he had struggled with cancer and was undergoing weekly chemotherapy treatments, he remained upbeat and positive.
Smith had also been working toward his college degree at Pulaski Tech. He began taking classes in Spring 2006 and would have finished his Associate of Arts this semester.
"I had the honor and privilege of being Robert's instructor last semester and the semester before that in another course," said Pulaski Tech psychology instructor Julie Locke. "I am so saddened by the news of his passing. He was such a positive person, dedicated student, and a good friend. I will miss him, his smile, his good words and sweet spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."