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Ronald D. Smith

Ronald D. Smith

June 26, 1948-Sept. 19, 2020

Born in Williamsport, Ron was the son of Mary Elizabeth (Jolin) and Robert D. Smith and was raised in Lock Haven. He graduated in the last senior class of Immaculate Conception High School in 1966. He graduated from Lock Haven University in 1970 with a BS degree in English and Education and was the editor of “The Eagle Eye” university newspaper.

Ron was also a Navy journalist on the USS Ranger during the Vietnam War. He was a journalist and city editor at the GRIT Publishing Co., where he met his wife, Dawn Minier (Watsontown). They married in 1976 and relocated to Syracuse, N.Y., where Ron was employed as a Public Relations Consultant to the Syracuse Catholic Diocese.

Ron received his MS degree in Public Relations from Syracuse University. Ron and Dawn moved to Buffalo, N.Y. and enjoyed raising their three sons.

Ron was an Emeritus Professor of Public Communication and the former chair of the Department of Communications at Buffalo State College. He also served as the Associate Dean for The School of Arts and Humanities. He taught both undergraduate and graduate courses in public relations, writing, case studies, and research among others. Ron was also an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. He served as chapter president and district chair and was honored as “Practitioner of the Year.”

Ron was also the project manager with research for The American Indian Museum at the Smithsonian Institute, and co-authored “Shoot the Indian: Media, Misperception, and Native Truth.” Ron also authored and co-authored several journalism and public relations textbooks, completing his last one shortly before his death.

The couple enjoyed traveling, especially to Italy, where Ron was proud to have met with the Enclave of Bishops at The Vatican. He enjoyed planning vacations and trips with his family and always wanted everyone to have a good time.

Ron is survived by his wife, Dawn, of 44 years, and his three sons, Joshua (Satomi) of Buffalo, Aaron (Jennifer) of Oklahoma, and Matthew (Jessica) of Buffalo. Ron loved being “Grandpa” to his grandchildren, Miana, Taka, Ella, Emmy, Leif, and Wesley. Also surviving are his mother, Mary E. Smith of Williamsport, his sister Teri (Barry) Fisher, of Mill Hall, and nieces Erica Bischof (Mike) of Williamsport, and Andrea Roupp (Jason) of Mill Hall.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert D. Smith in 2011. Ron was loved and will be missed deeply.

Dawn lives in Florida where they retired in 2018. A memorial service will be held at a later time.