November 28, 1950 – March 16, 2019
On March 16, 2019, my brother Jon R. Smith, left this world for that open range where I hope he is riding and roping, fishing or hunting to his heart’s content. Growing up on the 6 Bar Ranch with our parents, Ralph and Gen Smith was always an adventure with my brother. Whether we were riding horses, helping with brandings or creating a house in the hayfield, we were together. Weekends at the Ruby Marshes were spent fishing from early morning until almost dark. Jon taught me how to rope, took me target shooting and generally watched out for me. Jon was a great hand with a horse; skills perfected when our dad was manager of the P.X. Ranches in North Fork, Nevada. He also competed in ropings held around Elko. His calf roping picture with this article is from an Elko High School Rodeo. Jon was in the North Fork 4-H club, and showed livestock at the fair. We enjoyed all of the country dances that were our club’s revenue, from Jiggs to Starr Valley, North Fork (at Corbari’s Bar), and Taylor Canyon. The Elko County Fair was always the highlight of summer; we picked up betting tickets to see if any were winners. Jon also liked country music and played the guitar.
Following graduation from Elko High School, Jon worked as a cowboy for the Grayson Ranches in Winnemucca, Nevada. In the fall, he attended the University of Nevada, sharing an apartment with Jim and John Sustacha and John Goicoechea. Jon was a great cook, a welcome addition to their apartment. Jon graduated U.N.R. with honors and a degree in Agricultural Science. He then completed the Master of Appraisal course and appraised many ranch properties in Nevada.
Jon married Vicki Wheeler from American Falls in 1974. Vicki finished her teaching degree at U.N.R. and Jon continued with his appraisal work. Jon and Vicki welcomed two children; daughter Kristi and son Chad. Several years later, Jon and Vicki moved to Baker, Oregon where Jon continued with appraisal and Vicki with teaching. There were many memorable visits. Their cousin, my daughter Nachele, also spent new adventures riding horses and setting irrigation pipes! I will miss Jon’s knack for organizing a project or an adventure for all of us ...
A silver tear has dropped; the loss of my brother, my friend, is reflected in that tear. Although, as I looked back through a lifetime of pictures and letters, I know the memories and fun we had are the balance to my loss. You are always in my heart, my brother. Your sister, Carol.
There will be no service per Jon’s request. If you would like to share a memory, please go to All Valley Cremation, Nampa, Idaho and open the tribute tab.