Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired), Ronald D. Smith, a longtime resident of Riverside, CA, departed this life on Saturday, April 11, 2020, at his home in Riverside, CA. He was born in Spartanburg, SC, on May 18, 1948, to Maggie Purry Smith of Spartanburg, SC and the late James Cleveland Smith. He grew up in Chicago IL, where he resided until joining the United States Marine Corps. Ronald was a graduate of Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, Chicago, IL and attended Victor Valley Jr. College, in Victorville, California, on a football scholarship, but left to join the Marine Corps. Ronald retired from the USMC, after 23 years of service, at the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant and later from Ball Plastics, after 17 years of employment. He was a faithful member of Trinity Baptist Church, where he attended Sunday School and served in the Brotherhood Men’s Ministry and the Male Chorus.
Ronald is survived by his wife, Claudia Smith, formerly of Spartanburg, South Carolina and his daughter, Jacquelyn Smith. He had the privilege of helping to raise two young brothers, as his sons; Philip Duran (deceased) and Chad Benninghoff (Larissa) of Goodyear, Arizona, who has two sons, Taylor and Jake, who lovingly called him “Smitty and grandpa.” He also leaves to mourn, several siblings: Willie James Smith, (Ursula)Colorado Springs Colorado, Willie Mae Linder, Spartanburg South Carolina, Karen Smith, Land O Lakes Florida, Charles Edward Smith (Karin), Bernard Dale Smith, and Callie Eugene Smith (Tonda) of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews former co-workers, and very close friends. He was preceded in death by a sister, Patricia Kelly. He will be laid to rest in the National Cemetery, located in Riverside California.
Death was not GOD’s plan for His creation and certainly not for His children, In spite of this, in His sovereignty and providence, God is till at work, even in this season.
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