Maj. Ronald Albert Smith, U.S. Army Ret., 74, died on Saturday, April 20, 2013, of Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma attributed to Agent Orange.
He was born Jan. 26, 1939 in Bell, Calif.
He moved to Washington as a child, moved to Washington D.C., then back to Washington state and lived in Outlook, Sunnyside, and Wapato, where he graduated from high school and met his wife, Vertie Cleavenger. They were married in 1959 the same year Ron joined the U.S. Army.
He retired from the U.S. Army after 20 years of service, which included a tour in Germany, two in Vietnam and final tour in Korea. He was stationed at several posts stateside. He received many ribbons and awards while in the Army, including a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
After retirement he opened Ron's Auto Body Restoration for 10 years, worked at Vertie's Avanti Travel for four years and then became co-owner of Tacoma V-Twin.
Over the years, he belonged and held offices in several clubs including Lakewood Eagles, Life Member of the VFW, Clover Park Kiwanis, and was past president of the Tacoma Area Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club. Ron restored many Studebakers which received several first p1ace and Best of Show awards. Ron was also a member of BBB (Big Bad Bravo Company 4/21st) group of Vietnam retirees.
He is survived by his wife, Vertie of more than 53 years; sons, Steve (Brenda) and Ernie (Heidi);, daughter, Ronette (Craig) Lodgard; 10 grandchildren, Christopher (Cathy) Smith, Shane (Jessica) Oneill, Emma, Colton, Annalisa, Grace, Jacob and Olivia Lodgard, Collin and Neal Burton, and several children he considered grandchildren; brother, Jimmie Smith; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins; his cat, Max; and many close friends he considered family. These people know who they are.
Ron loved his family and had many friends.
He will be missed by all.
He was preceded by his parents, Virgil and LaVaughn Smith.
Many thanks to all the doctors, nurses and other staff at Madigan Hospital for the respect and excellent care they provided.
Celebration of his life will be held Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 6 p.m. at AMVETS Hall, located at 5717 S. Tyler St. in Tacoma. Military services will be held Monday, May 20, 2013, at 11 a.m. at The Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent.
Mountain View Funeral Home in Lakewood was in charge of arrangements.