Cover photo for Robbie Petty Smith's Obituary
Robbie Petty Smith Profile Photo
1955 Robbie 2023

Robbie Petty Smith

September 7, 1955 — March 8, 2023



Robbie Petty Smith passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 after a lengthy hospital stay.


Robbie was born on Sept, 7, 1955 in Knoxville to Hollis and Barbara Petty.  She was a graduate of West High and UTK, where she was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority. She was a lifelong educator, teaching at Alice Bell, Norwood Elementary and Powell Middle. She was a longtime member of Broadway Baptist Church.


Robbie is preceded in death by her parents Hollis and Barbara Petty, brother Gary Petty, and loving fur baby, Abby. 


She will be lovingly remembered and missed by her husband of 39 years, Perry, her only child, Brett Colby, and her beloved great-niece and great-nephew Victoria and Lucas Petty. 


Robbie will also be missed by her many friends.  Whether you grew up with her, went to college with her, or were her sorority sister, she was special.  If you taught with her, were taught by her, or, through chance, met her in another way, you were touched by her life.  Robbie could put a smile on anyone’s face. She had a way of making her friends feel like they were family. Robbie was selfless and loved others well.


Anyone who knew Robbie would describe her as feisty and full of life. Her bubbly personality could energize any room and make everything more fun. Whether she was hosting a UT tailgate, dressing as the Easter Bunny for the kids, or basking in the sun at the beach (her happy place), that lady knew how to have a good time! 


As a teacher, Robbie had an impact on countless children through the years.  She was always determined to help them succeed.  She was one of those favorite teachers you never forget.


Throughout her life, Robbie’s faith remained strong, never wavering. Her strength and faith are to be admired.  What an example she was for others!  Robbie is the epitome of 2 Timothy 4:7. She fought the good fight. She finished the race.  She kept the faith. 


All are invited to the graveside service Monday, March 13th at 1pm at Highland Memorial Cemetery, Sutherland Avenue.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Broadway Baptist Church, 815 N. Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917. Online condolences may be expressed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robbie Petty Smith, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, March 13, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Highland Memorial Cemetery

Sutherland Ave, Knoxville, TN 37919

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