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By Teresa Bigham / The Hesperian-Beacon—
FLOYDADA – In 1902, Ronnie Smith’s granddaddy and grandmother made the journey to Floyd County. They settled down in Lakeview.
He is the son of the late William H. and Lillian Smith. He was raised at Lakeview until he was three years old. At that time the family moved just south of Dougherty.
Smith graduated from Floydada High school in 1960. He recalled that is when he met Mickey Dot Hammonds, and the two became lifelong friends.
Smith’s wife Phyllis was born in Brownwood and is the daughter of the late Philip and Helen Reasonor. She graduated high school in San Antonio in 1957. She always had a dream of being a teacher, and she followed her dreams. She graduated from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos in 1960.
Right out of college Phyllis Smith got her first teaching job in Odessa. She was excited about the new adventure, but it was a long way from home. The next year she decided she wanted to teach closer to home, and she took a job in San Antonio.
The two were destined to meet. “I had a family member who wanted me to meet this teacher she knew, but I was interested in a pretty young lady I had seen at a drive-in restaurant,” Ronnie Smith said. “That pretty young lady was Phyllis. She was also the teacher that my family wanted me to meet.”
The two dated for several years before they tied the knot. “One Saturday in 1964, we just decided that we would get married,” Phyllis Smith said. “We drove to Clovis and found the JP and got married. Our parents didn’t know what we had planned. We called Ronnie’s parents after we were married and told them our news. I waited to tell my mother until I had the chance to go home.”
In 1966, Ronnie Smith and his lifelong friends Mickey Dot Hammonds and Murl Stephens were drafted. He did basic training in Fort Bless in El Paso. He was then moved to Fort Dix, N.J., and from there went to Germany. Smith was an MP in the Army.
When Smith was transferred to Germany, his wife Phyllis was expecting their first child. She was planning on moving to Germany to be with her husband before the birth. “My doctor told me that if I was going, I had to do it before the end of July,” she said. The couple’s son Stacy was born September of 1967.
The Smiths returned home on Sept. 11, 1968. Ronnie Smith took a job as department head with Mosher Steel.
In 1969, the family welcomed a daughter Andra. The family was now complete.
Smith’s job as department head was incredibly stressful at times; he would oversee about 30 jobs at one time. In the summer of 1974, the family was given the opportunity to move back to Floyd County. Smith helped his dad farm, and Phyllis Smith was busy with two little ones. When the fall came around, she took a job teaching second grade at Duncan Elementary School in Floydada.