Roland W. “Ron” Smith, 72, of Muncie and formerly of Elwood, passed away on Friday, July 2, 2021 at Signature Healthcare in Muncie following an extended illness, but a very full life.
He was born April 22, 1949 in Gary, Ind., the son of William D. and Margaret Helene (Sizelove) Smith.
Ron graduated in 1967 from Wendell L. Willkie High School in Elwood and served in the U.S. Army. He later received a music performance degree from Ball State University.
Ron was an accomplished pianist, organist, and musician from the early age of four when he began receiving professional organ lessons. With a natural gift of music, Ron worked as a pianist and organist nearly all of his adult life. He played on staff or as a guest artist at many notable venues through the years including working on staff at Bill Gaither’s Recording Studio in Alexandria; was the staff pianist at the Sheraton Northside Hotel in Chicago; was a featured pianist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; staff pianist at Southern Woods Golf Club; played in Aruba resorts for many years; played at countless churches across the country; and was invited to play the grand pipe organ at the Cathedral Church in Austria.
Ron, himself, was Angli-can-Episcopalian by faith.
Ron was honored to play in 43 U.S. states alongside several well-known artists including The Temptations, Al Green, Little Jimmie Dickens, and Wayne Cochran. He especially loved playing the newest and finest keyboards and pianos made by Yamaha throughout his career. Ron was also formerly a licensed pilot.
Ron married Felicia (Kelly) Schaefer on Nov. 24, 2003, and they shared over 17 years of marriage together.
Ron retired to live in Citrus County, Fla. where he was a member of the West Central Florida Elks Lodge and the Springs Masonic Lodge #378 in Homosassa, Fla. He was also involved for many years with breeding and showing Doberman Pinschers in which he won the title of Grand Champion at the Coconut Grove competition in Miami, Fla.
Ron’s family includes two stepdaughters, Laura Rottino of New York and Geneveve “Jeannie” Connell of Florida; stepsister, Shirley (husband Ron) Dickinson of Nobles-ville; cousins, Diana Dun-ham, Rick Sizelove, and Ron Lawson, all of Elwood and Doug Sizelove of Michigan; several stepgrandchildren; his beloved cat, “Buddy”; and many extended family members.
Ron was preceded in death by both his parents; wife, Felecia Kelly-Smith who passed away in 2021; infant son, Kristian Wayne Smith who passed away at four months old; and two step-mothers, Mary East and Juanita (Crew) Smith.
A graveside funeral service celebrating Ron’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021 at the Elwood City Cemetery with the Rev. Roger Gardner of East Main Street Christian Church, officiating. A Masonic Lodge memorial ritual by Mason Keith Stiner of the Elwood Quincy Lodge will start the graveside service. Burial will follow in the Elwood City Cemetery.
Ron’s wish was that any memorial contributions would go to Humanitarians of Crystal River Animal Rescue through the funeral home.
Online condolences and memories may be shared at copherfeslermay.com.