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Richard Ebert Smith

Posted: Thursday, Feb 14th, 2013




Richard Ebert Smith, known to all as “Dick Smith” of Paso Robles, passed away on January 31, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. from congestive heart failure at the Danish Care Center in Atascadero. He was 77.

Dick was born to the late Ebert and Nellie Smith in March of 1935, in Bell, Calif. He graduated from Downy High School in 1953 and then attended Cal Poly Pomona, studying veterinary science for one year before partnering in his father’s plumbing business.

Dick married his high school sweetheart Sherlyn “Sherry” Oleen in 1954 and settled down in Artesia, Calif. to raise a family. In 1962, Dick joined the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department as a reserve deputy and a member of the Sheriff’s mounted posse. In 1966, Dick and his family moved to Paso Robles and in 1970 began working for the San Luis Obispo Sherriff’s Department as the resident deputy at Nacimiento Lake. Dick also continued to pursue his plumbing career and after eight years in law enforcement, began building his plumbing business, commonly known as Dick Smith Plumbing and Heating.

Dick was very active with his children, participating with them in the Paso Robles 4-H club. When his children entered high school, Dick was active with the PRHS Marching Band, serving as the Band Booster President. An avid swimmer, Dick also started his Adaptive Aquatics programs at the Paso Robles Community Pool through the Red Cross and the Paso Robles Recreation Department. Dick was a Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard Instructor and the Pool Manager of the "Plunge” for many years and continued with multiple aquatics programs including the Disabled Dolphins, helping the disabled in the newly completed therapy pool.

In 1996, on St. Patrick’s Day, Dick married Susan Flanagan who at that time managed the Paso Robles K-Mart. Together they spent their later years living at their ranch in Paso Robles, traveling and visiting Sue’s family in Chicago.

Dick is survived by his wife, Susan, of Illinois; his first wife, Sherlyn “Sherry” of San Diego; his three sons David of San Diego, Eric of Paso Robles, and Steve of San Diego; and his daughter, Lori; along with grandchildren Geoffrey Smith, Marissa Rogers, James and Michael Russell, Sarena Whisenhunt, Erika Stoll and Kelly Smith; and one great grandchild, Wyatt Smith.

In lieu of flowers, Dick requests that donations be made to the National Rifle Association in protection of our second amendment rights.

A celebration of Dick Smith’s life will be held on March 17 at 11 a.m. at his son Eric’s home and vineyard in Paso Robles. Please e-mail cwo911@att.net for more information.

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