Robert J. Stahlsmith attended and graduated from Roanoke College in 1957. He was a member of the Monogram Club, and started in three varsity sports prior to and following World War II. Stahlsmith was a three-year starter in the football backfield, and played on Roanoke's last varsity football team. He played basketball for four years, was team captain in 1946 and 1947, and was also recognized on the All-State squad. Stahlsmith also played baseball at Roanoke, and he was described as coaches and teammates "as one of the best and most dedicated athletes they have been associated with."
Stahlsmith was a lieutenant junior grad at the U.S.N.R. in 1946, and graduated from U.S.N. Midshipman School, Northwest University in 1944. He was the Vice Chairman of the United way of Greenville County, and was on the Board of Trustees of St. Francis Community Hospital.
Stahlsmith worked for Dan River Incorporated, and held the positions of Senior Vice President, Preside of the Woodside Division, and Chief Executive Officer of the Greenville Group, respectively. He was on the Board of Directors for the following organizations: Dan River Incorporated, South Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association, and the Textile Distributors Association.
Stahlsmith ended his working career as the Director, and Corporate Vice President of the Stevens Hosiery Division for J.P. Stevens & Company Incorporated. He was active with young people, serving on the advisory committees for both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scout of America in the Greater New York Council.
Robert J. Stahlsmith became a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame of Roanoke College in 1972 for his many athletic achievements at Roanoke College and his involvement with the community. Robert and his wife Mildred Nutting Stahlsmith raised four children together; Mary Lou, Ellen, Anne, and Bobby Stahlsmith.