Ronald B. Smith

December 17, 2023

Ronald B. “Ron” Smith of Doylestown, PA was called home on December 17, 2023. He was 88 years old and married to his junior prom sweetheart and the love of his life, Bernice McCall Smith for 65 years.
Born in Philadelphia, he was the son of the late Joseph Smith and Helen Bain.

In addition to his wife, Bernice, Ron is survived by his three children: Lynn Byrne (Tom), Todd Smith (Trish), Craig Smith (Lisa), as well as his eight grandchildren: Katie, Ryan (Nicole) and Julie Byrne; Tyler (Sarah), Grant and Kailey Smith; and Kyle (Taylor) and Jake Smith.

Ron was a self-made man and lived a wonderful, full life. After raising his family in Huntingdon Valley, PA, he split his time between Doylestown, PA and a beautiful beachfront home in Ocean City, NJ. Still, he was a Philadelphia son through-and-through. He grew up at 2341 Belgrade Street in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of his family lived on the same street. He first saw Bernice standing under an umbrella on a street nearby.

He was so proud to tell others he attended Central High School, the number one scholastic high school in Philadelphia. He was equally as proud to be a first-generation electrical engineering graduate of Drexel University, ranking #1 in his power concentration. He joined the Navy reserves the day he graduated from high school and served his country for eight years. He worked for the Bulletin as a paperboy in his young years and after graduating college, worked at PECO for 33 years as a lighting engineer. After his retirement, he started his own business, Suburban Technical Consultants, where he continued to work until his last day as a streetlight engineer, helping townships all over the tri-state area with their lighting projects.

Ron loved sports. Growing up, he played half ball and basketball in the streets of Philadelphia, as well as on Hetzel’s field, Flatiron and Newt’s in his neighborhood, and in many citywide leagues. He played second base and could hit. He wasn’t the biggest guy on the field, but he had the biggest heart and was a fierce competitor. He always said you can’t teach heart and aggression. He tried out for baseball every year in high school, but was cut. He shared that with his family and it helped more than one grandchild deal with similar experiences.

He never gave up, though, and went on to play second base for Drexel and continued to play baseball and softball in community leagues after college into his 40s. He even got to “live the dream” on a trip to Phillies Dream Week. While he followed all the Philly sports teams, baseball and the Phillies were his favorite. The Phillies games were on TV every night or listened to on the radio at the beach in Ocean City. He took his family to many games, including the World Series in 1983 and 2008. He played tennis and golf throughout his life and later, mini golf with his grandkids. He bowled in leagues with his wife and played cards with friends often.

Through the years, he coached baseball and basketball for his sons’ (Todd and Craig) HVAA teams, watched his daughter (Lynn) cheer at so many other games, sat on the Lower Moreland school board, was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, rented a house in Ocean City every summer before he bought one, took his family to shows at the Valley Forge Music Fair and Broadway, vacationed with friends in the Poconos in the winter and took many, many trips to Disney World. However, after all his accomplishments, Ron was most proud of his family. He was not shy about telling them just how much he loved them and they always knew he had their back – and that’s really all you need in life. After becoming a grandfather, known as “Poppy”, he was always there on the sidelines of his grandchildren’s games, dance recitals and shows. Family meant everything to him.

In 1978, he planned a now family-famous trip around the USA. With his wife and kids in tow, he headed West in a Coachman van, making stops at The Grand Canyon, San Francisco and Mount Rushmore, just to name a few. He was so proud to experience the beauty of this great country together with his family. And there were many other trips as his love of travel grew. Once, he even planned a last-minute trip to St. Thomas for just a weekend – his kids were getting older and he was trying to squeeze in a few more trips before they grew up. Little did he know that those family trips would continue on to include husbands, wives and his eight grandchildren. A family favorite was a wonderful vacation on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship celebrating his 55th wedding anniversary with Bernice in 2013.

He was a classic example of the American Dream – he worked hard, loved his family and created a life rooted where he’d come from. He will be missed dearly, but his love and character will live on in the beautiful family he built together with Bernice.

Relatives and friends are invited to his memorial service at 11 a.m.. Thursday, December 28, 2023 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 301 North Main Street, Doylestown, where the family will greet guests from 10 a.m., until the time of the service. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park, 333 County Line Road in Huntingdon Valley, PA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ron’s name may be made to Special Deliveries Inc.,11 Kimberly Court, Vorhees, NJ 08043 (https://cancerandpregnancy.com/make-a-donation-online/) or St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 301 North Main Street, Doylestown, PA 18901.

Visitation

10 ~11 a.m.. Thursday, December 28
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
301 North Main Street, Doylestown


Service

11 a.m.. Thursday, December 28
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
301 North Main Street, Doylestown


Interment

Sunset Memorial Park
Huntingdon Valley