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City of Sparks Announces the Passing of Mayor Ron Smith

Sparks, NV – After an almost two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, Sparks Mayor Ron Smith has died. He was 71 years old. 

Mayor Smith was officially sworn in as the 25th Mayor of Sparks on November 13, 2018. He was elected to the Sparks City Council in November 2006 and was re-elected to four-year terms in 2008, 2012 and 2016. He served as Sparks Mayor Pro Tempore from 2012-2018.

“Ron was a good friend and mentor, and a man who deeply loved his City and community. His mark will be left on this community for decades to come,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Ed Lawson.  

A genuine labor of love for Mayor Smith was his service as the Director of the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Project at the Sparks Marina.

“As a veteran himself, Ron was extremely passionate about this project,” said Councilman Kristopher Dahir. “What he cared about most was that the almost 1,000 Nevada veterans that died fighting for our country were honored, and he wanted to make sure the next generation knew of the sacrifices of those who died for our freedoms. He was very driven to see this project completed. We have every intention of making this happen in his honor.” 

Mayor Smith was also a strong advocate for transportation and infrastructure needs in the City and region and served on many boards and commissions. He was awarded numerous awards and accolades during his tenure as councilman and mayor. Mayor Smith was most recently honored with the Sir Award from the Association of General Contractors. 

“I’m saddened to hear of the passing of Mayor Ron Smith this morning,” said Councilman Donald Abbott. “Ron loved many things, from the Giants to golf, but his great loves were his family and the city of Sparks and its citizens. He will be greatly missed and always remembered for the great things he did for our community.”

“I was deeply honored to be appointed by Mayor Smith to fill his Ward 3 council seat when he was elected Mayor in 2018,” said Councilman Paul Anderson. “I will truly miss my friend and mentor who did such great things regionally and for our Sparks community.”

“Ron provided knowledge and experience which helped me grow as a councilmember for this great city that he so loved,” said Councilwoman Charlene Bybee. “He was a great inspiration to me. Thank you, Mayor, may you rest in peace.”

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our Mayor,” said Sparks City Manager Neil Krutz. “His battle with cancer was incredibly courageous. All of us at the City will greatly miss him, and our most sincere condolences go out to his family.”  

Mayor Smith and his wife Karen were married for 40 years and have four children and nine grandchildren. 

Councilman Ed Lawson, who as Mayor Pro Tempore, will assume the role of Mayor to complete Mayor Smith’s existing term through 2022. He will be sworn in on September 14, 2020.  

Details of the memorial service will be announced at a later time. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Project: www.nvmp.info. P.O. Box 50967 Sparks, Nevada 89435.