Ronald John Smetanick
Rainbow Lake resident Ronald “Ron” John Smetanick died peacefully in his beloved home 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, and John and wife Laura, and daughter Michelle; nine grandchildren: Peter, John E., Ian, Raymond, Lucas, Abigail, Max, Ren and Delaney; step-grandchildren Kevin, Chase, Blake, Angela, Buddy, Brian and Jake; six step-great-grandchildren; a brother Denny; a sister Joyce; and many loving brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews.
He was preceeded 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 in 1963 and, with his wife, raised four children while establishing 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 the best out of everyone, developing a well-renowned science program that continues to thrive today. Ron achieved a Master’s of Education from the University of Maryland and continued his love of 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 curricula 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 awarded the 1978 Maryland’s 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 interest in others’ lives, and he spent 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 of Troop 433 and coach of the Green Machine soccer team. He fell in love with the Adirondacks on the many High Adventure trips with his scout troop. Purchasing their dream home in 1996, Ron and Corinne moved permanently to Rainbow Lake in 2000 and became a loved addition to the community. Together, they built a loving and welcoming respite for friends and family filled with love, laughter and joy! Ron loved to boat his guests around Rainbow Lake and enjoyed teaching everyone about the ecosystem and local history. He was a fount of information and continued to teach anyone who was curious about their 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.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983. There will be no calling hours. A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, April 24 at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Assumption in Gabriels with the Rev. Martin Cline officiating. There will be an additional service at a later date in Libertytown, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home. Family and friends can also share their condolences, share memories and sign the online guestbook at www.fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.