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Ronald Smith
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Ronald Dean Smith, 63, of Ripon passed away surrounded by family and friends on April 30, 2009 after a six-month battle with cancer.

He was born in Stockton on Oct. 2, 1945 to his parents Harry and Bonnie Smith.

He graduated from Ripon High School in 1967. He married his high school sweetheart and raised his family in Ripon. Mr. Smith worked for PG&E for 37 years as a welder and welding inspector. His passion was working as a volunteer fire Captain in Ripon for 42 years and he served on the Ripon Consolidated Fire Board for four years. He went on many strike teams to fight fires throughout the State of California.

He was also active in 4-H, serving as a sheep leader for many years as well as a Barn Chairman for the San Joaquin County Fair. He also served in the National Guard for four years. He enjoyed spending time with his family and was constantly remodeling his home or doing some sort of project in his shop.

He was able to see his son Chris get married on a cruise in March. Chris is honored to have followed in his father's footsteps and become a firefighter. Mr. Smith was also able to help his son Gary build a home five years ago. Gary feels fortunate to have inherited his father's passion for welding.

He loved NASCAR, Pismo Beach, and Disneyland. He also loved holding babies and had a special way with them. He was a devoted husband, dad, grandpa, brother, uncle, son, and friend. 'Captain Ron' loved mentoring young firefighters and became like a father to many who were blessed to know him.

Survivors include the love of his life, Cynthia, his wife of 42 years; and his children, Gary and Debbie Smith and Chris and Angela Smith. They were the light of his life along with his granddaughters Gianna Joy and Natasha Dean Smith. He is also survived by his sisters, Blanche Carlos, Phyllis Lonero, and Dorothy Fagundes and his mother-in-law, Mary Nepote, along with many other relatives and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Cliff Smith, and his father-in-law, Pete Nepote.

Visitation will be Friday May 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Deegan Ripon Memorial Chapel and a celebration of his life will be held Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. at Almond Valley C.R.C. in Ripon. Lunch will follow at Ripon Fire Station 2.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ripon Fire Department or American Cancer Society. Please sign online guestbook at

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

May 6, 2009