Ronald A. Smith of Newport Beach, CA passed away Friday, December 24, 2010 after a long illness. He was born in Fresno, CA on April 26, 1927. Ron attended Fresno State University, after which he joined the Navy. Upon discharge from the Navy he became involved in a number of businesses until he found his real passion in the late 50’s in the aviation industry. Ron was instrumental in introducing the farming community in Central California to the use of helicopters for agricultural purposes where he eventually founded Whirl-Wide Helicopters, a pioneer in airlift engineering. After many years in the aviation field, he became involved in real estate development until his retirement in 2006.
Ron’s favorite hobbies were growing award winning roses in addition to playing tennis and cooking for family and friends. His passion and perseverance in life was embodied in the following scripture verse: 2 Timothy 4:7 “I fought the good fight, I finished the course, I have kept the faith”.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents, Norman and Vera Smith of Fresno, CA; his wife Sharon, Newport Beach, CA. He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Daley and son-in-law Gary of Turlock, CA; son Todd Smith and daughter-in-law Jane of Turlock, CA. He is also survived by his sister, Marjorie McLain of Fresno, CA. Step-son Bob Smith and his wife Brandice of Corona Del Mar, CA; and step-daughter Sue Lee and her husband Ray of San Diego, CA. He will be greatly missed by his grandchildren who lovingly referred to him as “Papa Ron”. Papa’s memory will live forever in the heart’s of Kaci and Craig Sims; Sam and Paul Smith; Alyssa, Blake and Christopher Lee and Cashe Noel Smith.
Services will be held at the Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625, this Thursday the 30th of December at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ron’s remembrance can be made to: Vitas Charitable Foundation (Hospice), 220 Commerce, Suite 100, Irvine, CA 92602 and/or the America Cancer Society, 1940 E. Deere, Suite # 100, Santa Ana, CA 92705.