Ronald Charles Smart, 76, of Turlock, passed away at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto on July 21, 2015. Ron was born in Biddeford, Maine and was of the Penobscot tribe.
Ron is survived by his fiancé, Hazel Flora. With this relationship, Ron was embraced by his new “family,” which included Hazel’s daughters Brenda (Tim) McDonald, Cyndee (John) Forbes and grandchildren Bryanne and Anthony McDonald, and Elizabeth and Amanda Forbes.
He was predeceased by his wife of 51 years, Clare (Cookie) Smart in 2013.
Ron enlisted in the United States Navy on October 17, 1957, later transferring to the United States Marines and serving during the Vietnam War. Ron was discharged November 17, 1961. Ron was very proud of his service to his country and often spoke of his travels to attend reunions of those he served with.
As a retired history teacher and boys varsity basketball coach, Ron touched a lot of lives of local teen youth, both on the court and in the classroom. He often spoke of how going to work was something he looked forward to, as it did not seems like “work” at all. He enjoyed bringing history alive and finding innovative ways of engaging his students. During his tenure at Turlock High School, the team won the League Championship, which he was very proud of. Ron’s “retirement” led to numerous volunteer hours, often asked by local coaches to attend practices, open gym, games, mentor students and assist in coaching. Ron enjoyed going to the movies, going out for nice dinners, and was an avid history buff. Ron attended Modesto Covenant Church.
As a tribute to Coach Smart, a memorial basketball game will be held on what would have been his 77th birthday – Friday, August 14th, 2015, at 6:00 pm. The game will be held at Calvary Baptist Church (700 E. Monte Vista Avenue, Turlock). Former Turlock High School players are encouraged to come and play. Contact Turlock High School Basketball Coach Doug Cornfoot (209-634-1978) for specific game information and to sign up. Friends of Coach Smart are asked to attend and cheer on his former players as they pay tribute to Coach Smart and his love for the game.
Donations may be made in Ron’s memory to: Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301.