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Ronald L. "Smitty" Smith
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Obituary for Ronald L. "Smitty" Smith

Ronald L. “Smitty” Smith passed away on November 14, 2017. He was 86 years old. Ronald was born on September 24, 1931 in Burley, Idaho. The third eldest of seven kids to John and Arlena Smith.

In 1961 he married Rita D. Barnett and they recently celebrated 56 years of marriage. Ronald is survived by with wife Rita, his daughter Kimberly Olsen and his sons Duane and Brian. He is also survived by his son from his first marriage, Ronnie Lee and two younger brothers, Lorin and Conard. With seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, his memory will live on.

Although he received very little formal education, Ronald’s work ethic and determination made him successful at every job he ever had. As a young boy, he worked alongside family members doing field work on various farms in California’s San Joaquin Valley. He also earned money for his family by delivering newspapers and milk. Ronald developed a strong work ethic, held many jobs and continued working late into his life.

As a young man, he became very good with the use of a chain saw and cutting down trees. At one point, he had his own tree cutting service in San Fernando, California. Later, he moved from cutting trees with a chain saw to knocking them down with a Caterpillar, D-8 bulldozer. In 1955 he was he was part of a crew that cleared the land of orange trees to make way for Disneyland.

In the mid-to-late 1960s he worked for Douglass Aircraft in Long Beach, CA. He worked on the DC-8 and DC-10. It was his time at Douglass Aircraft that he developed the skills and appreciation for the use precision tools. He loved trying to teach his kids how to use these tools.

He spent most of the 1970s operating heavy equipment, cutting fire breaks in the hills of Anaheim and building roads and spill containment dikes in the oil fields of Huntington Beach, CA.

In 1977 he was hired at Bragg Crane to oversee field operations of a division called, Crescent Coke Handlers. He managed heavy equipment operators, truck drivers, mechanics, welders, and laborers at multiple locations, sometimes with around-the-clock operations. People that worked with Ronald lovingly called him “Smitty”. Those that worked for him found him to be a fair, honest and competent man. He was a highly regarded and well respected boss.

He briefly retired in 1995 when he and his wife Rita moved to McMinnville, OR. Ronald was hired by Oregon Lithoprint located in McMinnville and had a number of roles and responsibilities. He delivered newspapers and add print to places such as, Portland and Lincoln City. His favorite job was managing the News Register newspapers stands. He would collect the coins and service the stands. When he found a stand that needed some work, he would replace it with a reserve stand, take it home, fix it up, paint it and return it to service. He took pride in making sure that all newspaper stands were clean and in good working order.

Ronald Smith was a kind, patient, loyal, hard-working man. He remained a loyal and dedicated employee, boss, husband and father.

Services for Ronald Smith will be held at Macy and Son in McMinnville, OR on December 16, 2017 at 1:00.


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Upcoming Events

Service

Saturday

16

Dec

1:00 PM
Macy & Son Funeral Directors

135 NE Evans Street
McMinnville, OR 97128

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