Ronald L. Smith
1934 - 2010, Santa Barbara
In Memory of Ronald L. Smith
(1934-2010) Ronald L. Smith passed away on November 14, 2010, after a valiant battle with leukemia. Ronald was born in Rochester, Minn. September 8, 1934. He moved with his parents, two older brothers and sister to California in 1938, first to Glendale and then to Ontario, where he lived until 1945. Later, Ron moved with his mother and stepfather to Las Vegas and graduated from L.V.H.S. in 1953. He served in the U. S. Army from 1954 to1955, with a tour of duty in Germany. After discharge, Ron traveled to Mexico City and attended the University of Mexico City from 1955 to 1958. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and also met his future wife, Rosa Rivero. They married upon his graduation and Ronald returned with a family to Ventura, CA.
With his superb fluency in Spanish, Ron quickly got a job in the Ventura County Social Services Department, where he excelled for several years. The county then sponsored his further education at San Diego State University, where he earned a Master’s degree. Upon fulfilling his obligation to Ventura County, Ronald accepted a position as Director of Extension at UC Santa Barbara and later at UC Santa Cruz. He served with distinction at both universities and enhanced their programs and recognition through imaginative and innovative methods. After retirement, Ron began a successful language learning business.
Ronald was a loving and caring person, greatly devoted to his loving wife Rosa. He loved and was so very proud of all his children. In turn, Ronald was immensely loved and respected by family and friends. He was highly concerned about social and environmental issues and devoted much time, effort and his considerable talents to causes for the betterment of all.
Ronald was preceded in death by his parents, Jasper and Ora Crowley Smith; brother J. Lawrence Smith; and sister Patricia Smith Dornan. He is survived by his wife Rosa, sons Jorge Gonzalez, Memo Rivero Smith, Bryan Smith and Holden Smith; daughters Laura Rivero Fisher and Elena Smith Wrightson; brother Jasper Eugene Smith, plus their spouses and numerous 2nd and 3rd generation nephews and nieces.
His beloved family and close friends gathered June 18, 2011 in Aptos, CA for treasured memories and life tribute.