SALEM - Ronald Duane Smith, 79, of Salem, died at 8:25 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at his home following a seven month illness.
He was born Jan. 11, 1933 on his grandparent's farm Clarion County, Lickingville, Pa., the first born of the late James Walter and Fern J. (Slagle) Smith.
Ronald graduated from Farmington Township High School in 1951. He was employed by Republic Steel Corporation in Youngstown, Ohio.
Ronald enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1951 during the Korean War. He attended boot camp in Great Lakes Illinois, and was assigned to the Destroyer USS Power in Newport, Rhode Island. After four years of serving aboard the Power, he was discharged as Boatswains Mate Seaman First Class. He was awarded with both the National Defense Service Medal and the Navy Occupational Medal. Ronald was also awarded certificates of membership as a qualified Shellback, Mossback and Bluenose. Certificates were earned by crossing the equator, rounding Cape Horn and crossing the Arctic Circle. While aboard, the Power made ports of call to all countries in South America, Caribbean Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The ship made the transition through the Panama Canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans.
After discharge from the Navy in October 1955, Ronald went back to work for Republic Steel. He worked as an overhead crane operator and motor inspector until he retired in 1981, after 30 years of service.
Driving truck was always in Ronald's blood. He drove his father's truck hauling strip coal, while attending high school. Ronald and his father worked for A.P. Weaver Coal Company out of Fryburg, Pa. For about 30 years of his life he worked two jobs. While with Republic Steel Electric Weld Department, he also worked as a truck driver for different periods of time.
He was an owner and operator of his own truck. He worked for most of the local trucking companies leasing out his dump truck, hauling asphalt, coal, sand, gravel, slag, limestone, iron ore, and other commodities. In Ronald's later years he worked at his brother Keith's two different companies, Riverport Coal Company, strip mining, and S& K Railroad Company, taking out abandoned rail lines for scrap and ties. For a period of time, he also worked at R.T. Vernal Paving as a truck driver. After driving for 52 years, he gave up the trucking and retired to his little farm in Salem, Ohio.
Ron was a member of the Greenford Lutheran Church. He was also a member of the NRA, American Legion, Tin Can Sailors Association, U.S.S. Power Association and is a life member of the North American Hunting Club.
Ronald married the true love of his life, Evelyn E. (Lehman) Smith, whom he married April 11, 1953 and survives him. He is survived by his six children, a daughter, Jacquelyn L. (Jeff) Yelic of Canfield; five sons, James D. Smith and Jeremy K. (Gayle) Smith of Lisbon, Jeffrey N. Smith, Jay D. (Sandra) Smith and Joel D. (Susan) Smith, all of Salem; a brother, Keith Smith of Lake Wales, Fla.; eight grandchildren, Autumn, Anna, James, Jarid, Alyssa, Jenna, Trevor, and Megan; and eight great-grandchildren, Noah, Isaac, Emma, Olivia, Audrey, Emily, Paige, and Hope.
A sister, Mary Jayne Hinshaw preceded him in death.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012 at the Stark Memorial Funeral Home with Pastor Douglas George officiating. Full military honors provided by the Salem Honor Guard will follow the service.
Calling hours will be held on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the MVI Hospice, 4891 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, OH 44505.
A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Mt. Zion Lutheran Church on German Hill in Tionesta, Pa.
This obituary may be viewed and condolences sent online at www.starkmemorial.com.