Celebration of Life for late Sparks Mayor Ron Smith
SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - The family of Ron Smith invited the community to a celebration of life in memory of this husband, father, and grandfather who served as 25th mayor of Sparks at the the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Park Friday, September 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Sparks Marina.
Smith took office in 2018 before pancreatic cancer took his life on August 19, 2020. He called the Silver State home for 46 years and at the very end served as Mayor despite his cancer diagnosis and declining energy levels.
“It got to the point where my mom would take him to the City office and just wait because she knew that his energy wouldn’t last very long and he would need help getting home,” Smith’s son, Dani Winfield said.
Mayor Smith represented Ward 3 on the Sparks City Council for 12 years and served as Mayor Pro Tempore from 2012 to 2018.
He worked in the grocery industry for 42 years, but most recently as the store manager of Scolari’s in Wingfield Springs and later worked at High Sierra Industries.
He also served in the U.S. Navy including two tours in the Vietnam War and led the creation of the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza at the Sparks Marina.
”Speaking with my grandpa the other day, he told me that our families had a man fight in every single war since the American Revolution,” said Winfield.
Along this journey of service and work to others are stories that stand out. They’re small moments giving us a glimpse into the heart and mind of the man who once held the highest political office in Sparks.
Current Mayor Ed Lawson said Smith would often tell him he was going to gun shows only later to learn it was a cover to support his wife by taking her to fabric shows.
The joke and love for his wife is something Mayor Lawson talks about to this day.
”I wanted this job as Mayor and always have wanted this job, but I certainly didn’t want to get it at the loss of losing my friend. So with that Ron. I love you,” Mayor Lawson said.
Former Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said he sat with Smith at meetings for 12 years.
”You talk about missing somebody. I really miss somebody. I can’t think how bad I miss Ron every time I think about him,” said Martini.
Mayor Smith’s daughter gave one final public goodbye.
”We can never thank you enough for your love and your laughter and for walking with us on our journeys,” said Jennifer Carvalho.
The Smith family is asking donations be made to the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Project to honor his memory and preserve the remembrance of Nevada’s Fallen Veterans that died fighting for our Country and our freedom.
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