Sparks Mayor Ron Smith dies after two-year battle with cancer

SPARKS — Sparks Mayor Ron Smith has died after a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.

The former four-term city councilman, known for his dedication to honoring Nevada's veterans, was 71.

The city of Sparks confirmed his death Wednesday.

Councilman Ed Lawson will be sworn in Sept. 14 to complete Smith's existing term as mayor through 2022.

Lawson said Wednesday Smith was a good friend and mentor who deeply loved his city and community.

Smith served on the city council from 2006 until he was elected as the 25th mayor of Sparks in 2018. The military veteran also served as director of the Nevada Veterans Memorial Plaza Project at the Sparks Marina.

Councilman Kristopher Dahir said Smith was extremely passionate about the project and wanted to make sure the next generation knew of the sacrifices of those who died fighting for the freedoms of others.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said Smith was dedicated to helping the community he loved with a focus on growth, economic development and flood control.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve said he also worked to address regional transportation and infrastructure needs.

Washoe County Commissioner Bob Lucey said his ultimate legacy was being a devoted family man.

Married for 40 years, Smith and his wife Karen have four children and nine grandchildren.


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