Ronald ‘Ron’ Smethurst

Ronald J Smethurst 2

Ronald J. “Ron” Smethurst, 67, of Onalaska, passed away from FTD/ALS on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 in his home. Ron was born on August 11, 1953 in Prairie du Chein, WI to Gaylord and Carolyn (DesRocher) Smethurst.

Ron attended schools in Lynxville and Seneca and then attended WWTC in La Crosse where he received a degree in HVAC. Ron worked as a lab technician at Trane Company from 1975-2013. He enjoyed his work and all the friends he made there.

Ron was an outdoorsman. He grew up along the river and enjoyed hunting and fishing and, in his early years, duck hunting. He was a member of the Falling Rock Walleye Club and helped his parents run the Falling Rock Bar and Trailer Park. He really enjoyed “deer camp” every fall with his brothers, son, and nephews at the cabin “down home.” He loved riding four wheelers and motorcycles with his family and friends. Later in life he returned to fishing. He loved the time he spent on Lake Onalaska and the Mississippi and Black rivers. He fished almost daily when he retired and caught, cleaned and cooked many fish for his family and friends. Ron was a “fix-it” guy. He knew how to fix anything that needed repair, especially cars, cycles, lawn mowers, snowblowers and motors in addition to anything that broke inside or outside the house. He was always busy tinkering with something in the garage. Ron enjoyed camping with his family and took many fun family vacations over the years. One of his favorite places to camp was Gooseberry Falls on the Minnesota North Shore.

Ron married Marilyn St. Jacque in Prairie du Chein on August 24, 1973. They made their home near Onalaska and raised their family, Amy, Tim and Jeanne. Ron was a good husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. He was a good man with a big giving heart, always lending a hand when needed. He will be missed by all those who knew him and will never be forgotten.

He is survived by Marilyn, children Amy (Mike) Turnmire of Spooner, WI and Tim (Briana) Smethurst of Onalaska, a brother Dick (Jan) Smethurst of Cedar Rapids, IA, two sisters, Linda Cook of Eastman, WI and Molly Seymour of Guttenberg, IA, and many nieces, nephews, friends, co-workers and his four-legged buddy, Rusty.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Jeanne, a brother Skip, brothers-in-law, Jim Cook, John Dickson, Bill Wachter, Nick Wachuta, Howard Gillitzer and Jim St. Jacque, sisters-in-law Donna Wachuta and Arleen Gillitzer and a nephew Dalton DuCharme.

A special thank-you to those who helped him in any way during this cruel illness. In lieu of flowers, you may honor Ron by learning all you can about FTD/ALS and donating to FTD research at

A visitation for family and friends will be held on Saturday, May 15th, 2021 from 11:00 AM until 12:30 PM at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral & Cremation Services of Onalaska, 907 Sand Lake Road. Burial will be Saturday at 3:00 PM in the National Cemetery, Eastman, WI.