Remembering Adela Smith

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We are sad to report that Adela Roberts, widow of UCLA biochemistry professor emeritus Roberts Smith, passed away on December 31, 2021.

In May, 2022 Adela’s family had a small gathering up on Vancouver Island to spread both her and Bob’s ashes around their garden at the house they both loved so much. Bob passed away in Santa Monica in 2018 at the age of 89.

“Our mother really was a fantastic partner to our father, Bob Smith,” said son Rich Smith. “She not only supported him at home, raising us and taking care of the household, she also wrote the vast majority of his non-scientific public addresses. If there was a rhyme in it you can be sure our mom was involved!”.

Adela and Bob Smith

Bob was one of the original group of biochemistry faculty in what was then the Department of Chemistry at UCLA. In 1960 Bob was asked to join the Board of Directors of ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which soon after became a public company on the New York Stock Exchange. He continued to serve as chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of ICN Pharmaceuticals as well as Director and President of Viratek, one of the earliest biotechnology companies. He retired from the faculty in 1987 but kept active in departmental activities.

After retirement, Bob and Adela split their time between their homes in Santa Monica, California and Courtenay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where they channeled their energies into their lifelong passion for gardens building a world-class rhododendron garden of their own.

Bob and Adela celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in August 2017. Their children include Roberts H. A., James A. D., Eric J. M., and Richard I. F., daughters-in-law Amy, Rebecca, Loretta, and Nathalie, grandchildren Michael (wife Amy), Nicolas (wife Elizabeth), Darren, Dylan, James, Sydney, Christopher, Laura, Amy (husband Robby), Richard, Jacqueline, Cyan, and Martin, and great-grandchildren Téo, Charlotte, Georgia, Freya, Adela, and August.