Ronald Eugene Smalldridge was born June 29, 1937 to Merlyn Gilsred and Sidney Eugene (McKim) Smalldridge in Nevada, Iowa. He went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on June 23, 2018 at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado due to complications following gallbladder surgery. Ronald’s parents were both pilots for the Air Force in WWII, the family lived in Mississippi and Texas. In a Victorian house in Aberdeen, Mississippi Ron and his dad made and sold model airplane kits. They also made and flew the planes on weekends.
Ron graduated from high school in 1955 in Mission, Texas. During high school he spent summers working on a shrimp trawler in the Gulf of Mexico, he also worked at a mortuary that was next to their home and later loved to share hilarious prank stories from his time there. On March 12, 1958, Ronald and Barbara Ann Grove were united in marriage in Mission, Texas. To this union five daughters were born. During the family’s time in Texas he worked at a gas company, reading meters. In 1964 the family moved to Monte Vista, Colorado where they raised their daughters and he managed the Monte Vista Potato Growers for many years, later retiring from ITC in Monte Vista.
In 2009 Ronald and Barbara moved to Eckert, Colorado to be closer to their daughters and grandchildren. He was a devoted family man that loved spending time with his daughters and grandchildren, teaching them to shoot, taking them fishing, metal detecting, camping, hunting, gold panning, bike riding. He loved to collect coins and have his grandchildren look for specific coin years. He was a prospector at heart, he lived for metal detecting and tracking maps of where secret treasures were buried. He was the family historian that liked keeping genealogical records and passing on stories and tidbits. He will be deeply missed by his family.
He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Ann Smalldridge on February 21, 2018, his parents and his sister: Patricia Ann (Bo) Pearce.
He is survived by his sisters: Mary Saint Marie and Dixie Lee (Marty) Hodges; five daughters and their families: Suzanne (Kent) Telinde (Amanda Kier, Corben Telinde, Matthew Telinde, Kendall Rapp, Renee Telinde, Denise Seitz), Gwen Odette (Ki) Nelson (Daniel Nelson, Kyra Nelson and Arla Nelson), Brenda Leigh Bookout (Julie Parrish, Jake Parrish, Casey Bookout, Jesse Bookout), Ann Marie (Hampton) Lester (Dustin Lester, Ashley Lester), Sarah Jolene Dick (Marli Dick, Creedence Dick, Eli Dick). As well as 20 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.
A Celebration of his life will be at 1:00 Sunday July 1st at Home Lake in Monte Vista, Colorado. Please bring a chair.