Charles “Ron”, “Ronnie” “Ronald” Smith, resident of Helena, MT passed away on March 4, 2018 at St. Peter’s Hospital at the age of 78 years. Rene’ Smith, his wife of 56 ½ years, and children were with him.
Ron was born in Helena, raised in East Helena, where he entertained family and friends playing the accordion since he was 10 years old. Ron enjoyed growing up in a small town where it was just a walk down the road to see his Aunts, Uncles and other family members. He enjoyed hanging out at his Grandfather’s bar, Smith’s Place, where his Aunt Mimi would serve him and his friends lunch sometimes. Ron told his kids many stories of his antics as he grew up in a small town. He always wanted to be a pilot but his poor eyesight kept him from that dream. He enjoyed science, doing experiments in his basement with his chemistry set.
He graduated and went to Carroll College for a year before he transferred to University of Montana because they had a better business school. He graduated from University of Montana with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. He took his first job with the IRS, married Rene’ June 15, 1961 and off they went to California. He enjoyed working for the IRS and got to travel the states during his employment with them. Mainly getting to travel back east to St Louis and Chicago where he made contact with Slovenian bands that he fell in love with and when he was home he did research on the music and played it on his accordion. He stayed in contact with the Roman Posedi and Frank Yankovic bands over the years. He also passed his CPA licensure while living in California. Meanwhile, Rene’ was home with their children, Christopher, Cheryl, Carolyn and Curtis.
Shortly after Curtis was born Ron moved the family back to Helena and he took a job with the Department of Revenue, State of Montana. He purchased the house that the kids grew up in on Stuart St. He continued his love of polka and Slovenian music. He made a lot of contacts through his travels out East. As the kids got older Ron and Rene’ were able to travel. They enjoyed three trips to Europe in the 70’s, where they visited family and enjoyed the music of the area. They also went on many trips to Polka Festivals with friends. Ron also played his accordion at the Red Lodge Festival of Nations many years. The kids loved going to Red Lodge and enjoyed learning about their heritage.
Ron retired from the Department of Revenue in 1995. He was then able to follow some of the Slovenian and polka bands, even taking Rene’ on cruises where the bands played. Some of the bands even asked him to play with them. Ron and Rene’ celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011. They made the rounds to visit all their children and grandchildren almost every year, traveling to Port Angeles WA to see Chris, Discovery Bay, CA to see Curtis, Greeley Co to see Carolyn and Rio Rancho, NM to see Cheryl.
Ron had many hobbies starting with his love of music. He loved to play accordion, and other instruments. He also enjoyed puzzles of all kinds, including crosswords, sudoku, and handheld puzzles. He was always an avid reader, priding himself on reading the whole set of The Book of Knowledge and the Encyclopedias when he was a kid. In his later years he also enjoyed watching and critiquing movies. Every time you talked to him he was recommending a book or a movie. He also loved taking walks and spending time with their dog Penny.
Ron was a member of many clubs including; SNPJ Lodge, KSKJ Lodge, Elks Club, Accordion Club Assn., Catholic United and the AICPA.
He will be greatly missed by his wife Rene’, and his children, Christopher Smith, Cheryl (Mike) Glenn, Carolyn (Mark) Jones and Curtis (Jamie) Smith. As well as his grandchildren, Jessica Hutchison, Olivia Weber, Blake Smith, Connor Jones, Peyton Jones, Piper Jones, Teagun Glenn and Sterling Glenn. His Great Grandchildren; Brynlee Hutchison, Nikolas Weber, Dustin Smith, Tucker Smith, Sawyer Weber and Brody Hutchison. And by his sister, Carol (Ron) Colyar.
Celebration of Ron’s life will take place:
East Helena Fire Hall
Friday, June 22, 2018
From 5:00 to 9:00pm
Please see below to offer a condolence to the family or share a memory of Ron.