Basketball Star. Marine. Husband. Father. Grandfather. Great Grandfather. On April 3, 2018, a great man answered the call to enter the Kingdom of Heaven following a brief illness.
Born in Townsend, MT, Ronald L. ‘Speed’ Smith called Manhattan home in his formative years. There, as a standout point guard, Speedy terrorized Class C basketball courts around the state with his dribbling, passing and outside shooting, helping the Manhattan Tigers earn their first ever state championship in 1964.
In September 1967, Speed married the love of his life Connie Gordon, also of Manhattan. For over 50 years, the two would remain nearly inseparable until his passing. Also in that same year, Speedy enlisted in the Marine Corps and served in Vietnam as a decorated Scout/Sniper.
In August 1971, Speed and Connie welcomed the birth of their first child Lisa, followed by son Mike two years later.
For the bulk of his working life, Speedy plied his trade as a butcher between Three Forks and the Amsterdam store outside of Manhattan. When not working, a great deal of his time was spread between his passions of fishing, working in the yard, playing golf and in later years, tracing his genealogy. One of his favorite memories was travelling to Kootenai Lake in British Columbia with his brother-in-law Jack and earning introduction into the 25-pound club by landing two Rainbows over 25 pounds.
None of these pastimes, however matched the love he had for his family, especially his grandchildren.
Ron is survived by his wife Connie, daughter Lisa(Warwick), son Michael, grandchildren Hannah, Brock, Chloe, Daniel, Peyton and Brady, and seven great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings Bob, Dave, Carol, Linda, Bill, Jackie and Marilyn.
The world has scarcely known a more humble and giving person. He will be greatly missed.
Speed was buried with full military honors at the Meadowview Cemetery in Manhattan.