Lonnie Smith passed away on August 11, 2017 at Modoc Medical Center, Alturas. He was born on May 8, 1940 in Inglewood to Margaret Nelson and Lonnie (Tex) Smith. Lonnie was raised in Rolling Hills in Southern California, attending grammar schools there, and graduated from El Segundo High School in 1958. He joined the Navy Reserves while in High School and spent two years on the USS Hamel driving the Captain’s personal boat. He loved that job being familiar with the sea as he and his dad were frequent sailors to Catalina Island. He worked for North American Aviation and with his father at Spartex Machine Shop, manufacturing parts for the space shuttle program. He moved to Paso Robles with his first wife and two children in 1976, purchasing a Union 76 Service Station on Golden Hill Road. He later purchased a second station in downtown Paso Robles. Lonnie joined the Lions Club shortly after moving to Paso Robles, lending his barbecuing skills to many community events and served as President. He was a proud member of the Paso Robles Trail Rider’s Association for 40 years and was President in 1998. He loved helping his friends with their cattle and playing Pedro after the roundups. He was an active member of the Pioneer Day Committee.
In 1979, Lonnie married Sharon Harrington. They had been married 38 years at the time of his passing. They moved to Alturas in 2006, after helping their friends Terri and Gene Mattos relocate from San Ardo.
Lonnie leaves his wife Sharon of Alturas; daughter Cheryl Soares (Tim) of Modesto, and son Michael Smith of Tustin. He also leaves brother Robert (Chris) of Vista; sister Leslie Parent (Mark) of Riverside; sister-in-law Sandra Hatch of Live Oak, and brother-in-law Joe Harrington of Plush, Oregon. His sister Lorie Powelson predeceased him the day before his death. He leaves many nieces and nephews and special friend Tom Moore of Paso Robles.
The family wishes to thank all who lovingly cared for Lonnie at the Modoc Hospital during his inpatient stay. The exceptional help and kindness extended to him by the Modoc Physical Therapy Department (Isobel, Ron, Michele, Kim and Linda) and Sage Stage Drivers (Jackie, Albert, Sean and Sonny) is greatly appreciated.
A mass was dedicated for Lonnie at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Alturas. He received the Last Rites from Father Vergara.