Loniel “Lonnie” Smith, 79, passed away April 20, 2014, at the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital in Hood River, Ore. Lonnie was born Dec. 1, 1934, in Medford, Ore., to Charles and Velma (Troxel) Smith, but moved with his family to Parkdale, Ore., at a young age.
He attended elementary school in Parkdale and later Barrett School and graduated from Hood River High School in 1953. He continued his education at Oregon State University (then known as Oregon State College) and then enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1956.
On June 29, 1958, Lonnie married his high school classmate, Mary Helene Hunt, in Hood River. They were blessed with three children: Lonna, Eric and Ron. The family made its home in Hood River.
Lonnie managed the service department for the Allen-Hay Ford dealership in downtown Hood River for 39 years. He later worked for E&L Auto Parts.
In his younger years before there were chair lifts or fancy ski resorts he and his friends would hike up on Mount Hood to ski down. He was an active baseball coach when his boys were growing up and enjoyed the great outdoors; he had a Ford Bronco that he would go 4x4-ing up in the hills all around Hood River and Mount Hood.
He and Mary enjoyed their trips to the Oregon Coast clam digging and the time spent with the Good Sam Club traveling and camping throughout Oregon. Lonnie also enjoyed golfing and he and Mary golfed in many tournaments over the years.
He was a member of the Hood River Valley Christian Church and for the past six years he enjoyed traveling in the summer back to the family cabin in Wisconsin.
Lonnie is survived by his wife, Mary, at their home in Hood River; three children: Lonna (and Berry) Bagwell, of Madison, Wis., Eric (and Tatyana) Smith, of Hood River, and Ron (and Jill) Smith, of northern Virginia; six grandchildren: Wesley, Clinton, Onar, Sofia, Jeremy and Ryan; other distant family and many friends that he has collected over the years.
A service to honor Lonnie’s life and mourn his passing is planned for 4 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Idlewilde Cemetery, 980 Tucker Road, Hood River, with Pastor Linda Presley officiating and military rites by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.
Lonnie’s family would like to thank Heart of Hospice for the care and the attention provided and encourage memorials be made in his name to Heart of Hospice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals, Receptions, Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, OR 97031; 541-386-1000. Please visit andersonstributecenter.com to leave a note of condolence for family.
Condolences are being received online.
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