Ronald “Ron” John Smetanick died peacefully in his beloved home in Gabriels, New York, on April 17, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. Ron is survived by his wife, Corinne Smetanick; four children, sons Patrick and wife Lisa, Billy and wife Cindy, John and wife Laura, and daughter Michelle; nine grandchildren, Peter, John E., Ian, Raymond, Lucas, Abigail, Max, Ren and Delaney; stepgrandchildren, Kevin, Chase and Blake, and Angela, Buddy, Brian and Jake; six stepgreat-grandchildren; a brother, Denny; a sister, Joyce; and many loving brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Tom Smetanick.
Ron was the first child born to John and Irene Smetanick on Jan. 9, 1942 in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. He graduated from New Kensington High School in 1959 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Clarion College (University) in 1963. He married his college sweetheart, Corinne Hough, in 1963, and with his wife, while raising four children, he established his career in Montgomery County Public Schools as a science teacher. He quickly advanced to the position of the head of the science department at Thomas S. Wootton High School, where he led, for 25 years, a respected and accomplished team of science teachers. Always positive, fearless and forward-thinking, he continued to encourage everyone to do their best, developing a well renowned science program that continues to thrive today. Ron achieved a Master of Education from the University of Maryland and continued his passion for learning through the completion of many advanced science courses, building his craft of teaching and deepening his discipline of science. He trained teachers, developed STEM programs, wrote curriculum, and participated in the development of partnerships with organizations such as NIH and NIST while working as an adjunct professor of biology for many years at Montgomery College. He was the recipient of the 1978 Maryland Biology Teacher of the Year award. His love for teaching, passion for science, and respect for students and colleagues, combined with his gentle yet strong leadership, inspired so many lives! Ron retired from MCPS in 1993 and worked for the next six years leading and building the science department of a respected private school
Ron’s greatest interest was people! He showed genuine enthusiasm in others’ lives, spending most of his time building and maintaining lifelong relationships with friends and family members through simple phone calls and common hobbies such as fishing, woodworking, gardening, beekeeping, photography, reading, bird watching, hiking, canoeing, camping and some traveling. The legacy of this great man also includes scoutmaster for Troop 433 of Olney and coach of the Olney Green Machine soccer team. He fell in love with the Adirondacks on the many high adventure trips with his scout troop. After 30 years of residence in Olney, Maryland, Ron and Corinne permanently moved to Rainbow Lake in 2000, quickly becoming an endeared addition to the community. Together, they built a welcoming respite for friends and family filled with love, laughter and joy! Ron enjoyed boating his guests around Rainbow Lake, teaching about the ecosystem and local history. He was a fount of information and continued to teach anyone who was curious about our world. We have lost a great one! A loving husband, a great father, an amazing Dzedu, a caring brother, brother-in-law and uncle, a faithful friend and a forever teacher.
A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 26 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Libertytown, Maryland, with the church’s pastor, the Rev. Charles Wible, officiating. The family will receive visitors in the church narthex before Mass. We welcome stories of Ron and prayers for the deceased.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Project Healing Waters.