Ronald Gilbert Smith

Ronald Gilbert Smith was born Sept. 22, 1931 in Colorado Springs, Colo. the son of Orlo Jared and Ella Celia (Franklin) Smith. He passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013 at his Cortez residence at the age of 81.

On Dec. 29, 1950, Ron married Peggy Jo Barton in Taos, N.M. The couple lived in Alamosa, Colo. from 1952 until 1975 when they moved to Durango. They then moved to Bullhead City, Ariz. where Ron and Peggy enjoyed many happy years of retirement. In 1998 they moved to Cortez to be near their family. Ron devoted 36 years to the Colorado Highway Department where he worked in the engineering division. In his spare time, Ron enjoyed golfing, card games, boating and camping. Quality time with his family brought Ron the most happiness. Ron was always ready to help his family, friends and neighbors. Whether it was a vehicle broken down, a home repair that was needed, or just to pick up their mail, he was happy to help.

Surviving Ron are his loving wife of 62 years, Peggy Jo Smith of Cortez; his children, Ronald Jo Smith of Cortez, Ted H. Smith of Dolores, Kathy Van Vleet and husband, Paul of Dolores, and Harold V. Smith and wife, Robin of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Ron was preceded in death by his parents; and by his sisters, Eunice Bertrand and Flora Mae Hall.

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of Ron's life will be held at a later date. Details will be published in the Cortez Journal. Memorial contributions may be made in Ronald Smith's name to Hospice of Montezuma, P.O. Box 740, Cortez, CO 81321.

Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.