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March 28, 1966 ~ November 9, 2023 (age 57) 57 Years Old
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Ron Smith passed from this life on November 9, 2023, at the Cool Pines RV Park in Mayhill, New Mexico, where he had made his home for the past 3 years.
He was born March 28, 1966, to Ronnie and Joyce (Earley) Smith in Fort Worth, Texas; where Ron's dad was studying at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His parents continued in various mission work in Kentucky and West Palm Beach, Florida before settling in Lubbock, Texas. Ron graduated from Twin Lakes High School, in West Palm Beach, Florida in May 1984. He then attended South Plains College, Levelland, Texas where he earned a Certificate in Automotive Collision and Body Repair. He went on to attend Texas Tech University and earned a BSA degree in Wildlife & Range Management (Horticulture), in May of 1990.
From 1991 to 1995, Ron was hired to study the endangered Horned Toad in Southern Colorado. He was the first person to attach "tiny backpacks" to the Horned Toads to track their migration habits so they wouldn't become extinct. In about 1996, Ron was employed by the White Sands Missile Range where he was the major contributor to its Herbarium Collection which included a database of the area's plants and vegetation life for the government. He later did another study of the Spotted Owl and Deer in the Cloudcroft, New Mexico area.
Ron always had adventure in his soul and was happiest in the great outdoors, particularly in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado where he spent his entire adult life living with his faithful canines, Sierra and Sheba, who were his truest life companions. You see, to tell Ron's life story, you have to see it through his heart and soul: Outdoors, Wildlife, Native American Indians, Warrior, Freedom, Strength, Encounters, Quiet, Soft Spoken, Unselfish, Compassionate, Nature-Loving individual who loved deeply and shared freely. His love for people came with a lot of respect, if he called you friend you were family. Ron loved the outdoors so much so, that he constructed his own Lodge "Teepee" in which he would live for extended periods of time (three years was his longest). Through these adventures he would encounter various wildlife (bears, mountain lions, herds of elk just to name a few). Some of his favorite interests were looking for Indian petroglyphs, along with studying and collecting Native American Art. Ron shared his love for the great outdoors with family and friends. To go on an adventure with Ron it was always a memorable experience. He taught you to love and appreciate all things living. He attended Mountain Man Rendezvous in Colorado and participated in a Sundance in New Mexico. These adventures were never without Sierra or Sheba.
Ron was a devoted son who cared for his parents during their final years of life, all while overlooking his own health issue. In 2017, he was diagnosed with stage four COPD. He bravely fought the disease for seven years until his passing.
He is preceded in death by his parents Ronnie and Joyce Smith; paternal grandparents Terry and Velma Smith; maternal grandparents CB and Velma Earley; niece Tabitha Smith and Ron's' life companions Sierra and Sheba.
Ron is survived by his brother Terry (Jennifer) Smith, nephew Michael Smith, (3) great-nephews, (2) great-nieces and a host of loving friends.
Ron never asked for much but he knew how he wanted to leave this world and those wishes are being granted out of love and respect. A memorial service will be held in the Spring of 2024 at the Cool Pines RV Park in Mayhill, New Mexico where family and friends will pay tribute to "A Life Well Lived". It will be a time for those who knew and loved Ron to gather for reminiscing and storytelling with hugs and laughter and the shedding of a few tears.
In the final days, months and a few short years, Ron was looked after by his caregivers, Alan & Marie Collier, Gail Ellison, Jennifer Smith and the owners of Cool Pines RV Park, Rick & Gail Crain along with the residents that lived there. A memorial is being establish in Ron's memory.
Arrangements are under the direction of Alamogordo Funeral Home, Alamogordo, New Mexico.