Cover photo for Ronald C. Smith, DDS's Obituary
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1942 Ronald 2023

Ronald C. Smith, DDS

February 3, 1942 — November 12, 2023

Davenport Lake Zurich

The family of Ronald Clyde Smith, DDS, announce his journey to heaven peacefully on Sunday, November 12, 2023 in his home surrounded by his loving wife of 24 years and family. Ron was born on February 3, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA to Madison Clyde and Shirley Marie Smith.

Born and raised in Southern California, Ronald found a true connection with its vast beaches. The beach was his haven, a place where the crashing waves and the sandy shores held the echoes of his laughter and the memories of carefree days spent with friends and family. Ronald’s love of the outdoors wasn't just confined to the shoreline; his heart also belonged to the rugged beauty of the mountains. He found solace and joy in camping trips under the starlit sky with his friends. Ronald was a man who appreciated the contrast of the coastal breeze and the mountain air, finding fulfillment in the harmonious balance between the two.

Graduating from Garfield High School in 1959, he worked various jobs and was an apprentice carpenter for his uncle Don before being drafted during the Vietnam Crisis. He enlisted in the United States Air Force. At the conclusion of his basic training classes throughout the South, he was amazed he scored in the top 3 of his medical class.

While in the Air Force, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) approached Ronald and gave him the choice to serve in various hospitals in Germany, France or England; without hesitation, he chose France. He was then stationed in Châteauroux working as a medic. He fell in love with culture, food and cuisine and traveled on leave time throughout Italy, Southern France and Paris.

Excelling as a medic, he decided to pursue dentistry and began taking basic correspondence classes.

Honorably discharged in 1962, he returned to Ontario, CA and continued his studies at Chaffey College. While working odd jobs to pay his tuition, he was accepted to Standford University in Stanford, CA, where he earned his undergraduate degree.

Ronald was accepted into the prestigious Loyola School of Dentistry, which required him to move from California to Chicago.  His cross-country expedition wasn't just a physical journey; it symbolized Ronald's unwavering determination to overcome obstacles and pursue his aspirations. His trek through the Rocky Mountains was treacherous, but he journeyed on in his Volkswagen toting a trailer. His solo trip was done with a courage that left an impression on all who followed his progress.

Following his graduation from Loyola he completed a resident program at Hines VA Hospital in Chicago. He continued to practice dentistry for over 35 years in the Western Springs, La Grange and Hinsdale communities at his private practice, Ron Smith, DDS Ltd., until his retirement in 2013. Many of his patients would travel long distances for his gentle touch.

Ron was an avid art lover, whether he was painting or collecting beautiful pieces, he enjoyed the stories and memories of each piece.

Throughout his life he traveled to many countries where he enjoyed various cultures, languages and cuisine – always wanting to blend in. Most notably Italy, Greece, France, Mexico, Panama, Thailand and his special and beloved Costa Rica and beach in Manuel Antonio. He also enjoyed reading (especially biology and science texts), hiking and watching movies.

Ron is survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Joanie; children, Sasha Smith and her son, Hollander Fine (who lovingly called him Popi) of Brooklyn, NY, Lisa Pope of Scottsdale, AZ and Alex Smith of Oakland, CA; step-children, Heather Helms of Johnson City, TN; Kyle (Sylvia) Stiverson of Round Lake, IL; Heidi (Correy) Green of Barrington, IL and Kris Wilmore of Indianapolis, IN; step-grandchildren, Dr. Jeremy (Adrian) Jones, Kara (Ivan) Vityk, Alexis and Cristian Isaias (who lovingly called him Pop Pop), Casey Bennett and Nikole Carty; great-grandchildren, Scarlett, Kennedy and Ezekial (who lovingly called him Popi); his sisters, Vicki (Frank) McCormick, Cathy Clark and Kelly Hamill; his former wife, Joyce Smith; and by many loving friends and extended family.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Larry Smith and his step-grandson, Jon Stiverson.

Services will be held privately by the family.

In lieu of flowers, please, give the gift of life by donating blood and platelets to your local blood bank.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald C. Smith, DDS, please visit our flower store.


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