Ronald “Ron” Keith Smith, age 74, of Fairborn, Ohio, departed this world to be with his Lord and Savior on December 5, 2021. He was born July 12, 1947, in Ashtabula, Ohio, the son of the late Herman and Winifred (Havens) Smith.
After graduating from Ashtabula High School, Ron attended Kent State University until he enlisted in the United States Air Force (USAF) and served as a weather observer, which included a tour of duty in South Korea. After receiving an Honorable Discharge from the USAF, he completed his education at Wright State University, earning a degree in systems engineering. He then accepted a government position with the USAF National Air and Space Intelligence Center, where he worked until he retired from Civil Service after 26 years. Ron remained committed to the well-being and security of our nation and did defense-related work for an additional eighteen years. Fifteen of those were at Modern Technology Solutions, Inc., its Beavercreek branch, of which he was one of its founders. Throughout his career, he enjoyed the challenges of solving engineering problems and valued guiding the next generation of engineers. He fully retired in 2018, having faithfully served the United States of America for a total of 48 years.
During his three years of retirement, Ron enjoyed spending time with Bonnie, his wife of 51 years and to whom he remained devoted, read books on history, beautified the land during his walks, listened to music, and revealed his happiness through his many moments of laughter.
Ron was an active member of his community. He coached Fairborn Little League for eleven years, volunteered countless hours helping others by using his carpentry, construction, and lawn care skills, participated in numerous home and church builds as a way of serving the Lord, and was a longtime member of University Baptist Church. Later in life, he enjoyed singing in the Easy Walk Gospel Band, which focused on ministering to nursing home residents. He strived to walk humbly with his God, who shepherded him during his life.
Listed among his hobbies were ancestry research, woodworking, Sudoku puzzles and documenting the process to solve each, tinkering with inventions, such as accumulating numerous old lawn mowers with the intent of connecting them to create a massive mower to knock out the church lawn faster, and gardening—with its endless pulling of those stubborn, ever-returning thistles.
Ron found many joys in life, one of the most prevalent being talking . . .and talking some more . . . to anybody and everybody about nearly anything. He enjoyed extended family vacations every other year, campfires, and camping, including fishing for chipmunks; wildlife watching of birds and squirrels, star gazing, and his white ’56 Chevrolet and ’63 Alpha Romeo Spider that he owned back in the day. He also took pleasure in chocolate malted milkshakes and root beer floats and devoured Bonnie’s appetizing home-cooked food on a daily basis, never once failing to compliment her on her meals.
Two mottos he stressed and practiced are “Always leave things better than you found them,” and “Use your muscles to help people, not hurt them.” Several comments his family heard often include “Four legs on the floor,” “Let me get your mom,” and “Hey, watch your language!” in which he chastised the TV when the kids were watching it, along with a 30-plus-year delay of suddenly announcing in the midst of a family dinner after he’d consumed half of his entree, “I hate beans and wieners!”
In addition to his parents, Ron was preceded in death by his sister Karen Kent, and granddaughter Zoey Lavoie. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Bonnie; six children, Tonya Smith, Holly TenHarmsel (Toby), Jeremy Smith (Lesley), Sherri Sakos (Kyle), Jonathan Smith, Loriann Lavoie (Phillip); twelve grandchildren, Morgan Jones, Ethan Jones, Mikayla (Steven) Estes, Jordan TenHarmsel, Jacob TenHarmsel, Luke Smith, Caleb Smith, Trenton Sakos, Blake Sakos, Tyson Degree, Corbyn Lavoie, Myrah Lavoie; and great-granddaughter, Avery Cancino.
A funeral service will be held on Monday, December 20, 2021, at 11:00 A.M. at the Belton-Stroup Funeral Home, 422 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Rd., Fairborn, OH. Masks are requested if attending the service. Burial with military honors will follow at Byron Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to University Baptist Church, Beavercreek, OH, Hospice of Dayton, or a charity of your choice in memory of Ron. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.BeltonStroup.com. Due to Covid19 and no visitation. Memory packets will be available at the funeral home for people to share their stories about Ron and send to his family. Please wear a mask if attending the service.