GLOUSTER, Ohio — Ronald L. Smith, 88, of Glouster passed away Thursday, June 15 at his home. He was the son of the late Harold Dwight and Vernice A. Smith.
He was born in Glouster on March 9, 1935 and grew up in the Akron/Barberton area, returning to Taylor Ridge in 1952. He graduated from J.T. High School in 1953. His summers were spent on Taylor Ridge and in Bishopville with his grandparents. He graduated from Ohio University in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in industrial arts and began teaching at J.T. during his junior year in college.
He taught shop classes (welding, electricity, wood working), chemistry, physics, general science and drivers education from 1955 through 1968. During college, summers and evenings, he built houses for Elmer Jones Construction in Athens and later on his own.
He loved his cattle and his family farm, which he was able to operate while working full time and after his retirement. One of his feeder calves was shown a family member, Coy Lehman, and placed first in Hocking County and second in the state in 1974. His sons, Mark and Brad, were active in 4-H events as teenagers.
In 1968, he started teaching welding at Tri-County Vocational School. After two years he became director and later was appointed superintendent. He retired in 1994 and went to work for Southeast Ohio Voluntary Education Cooperative, retiring once again in 2006. He spent 51 years of dedicated service to the children of Southeastern Ohio.
He was a member of the Taylor Christian Church and was the church elder. He married Betty L. (Russell) Smith on Aug. 9, 1958, a marriage that lasted 64 years until her death on Oct. 1, 2022.
He is survived by a son, Brad (Carol) Smith of Glouster; grandchildren Jayanna Smith, Erik Hook and DaNell (David) Harvey; great-grandchildren Harlow Hook, David Harvey Jr. and Daisy Harvey; and a niece, Susan (Eric) Drozdowski.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Betty L. Smith; a son, Mark A. Smith; a sister, Carol (James) Bradshaw; his father, Harold Dwight Smith, who operated Smith’s Orchard on Taylor Ridge from 1968 until 1981; and his mother, Vernice Smith.
Special thanks are extended to Sammy Joe Hook III, who helped him on his farm for several years, and to Mary McGrew Moore for helping with his and his wife’s care for the past several years. Thanks also to Ohio Health Hospice of Athens for recent care during his illness.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Morrison Funeral Chapel, Glouster-Bishopville, with Debbie Koons officiating. Interment will be in the Taylor Ridge Cemetery. Friends may call at the funeral home 6–8 p.m. Tuesday. A message of comfort may be sent to the family at www.morrisonfc.com.
Contributions can be made to the Taylor Ridge Christian Church, c/o Wavelene Snyder, 19262 Taylor Ridge Rd., Glouster, OH 45732.