Ronald E. Smull
COLUMBIA — Three words that describe Ronald E. Smull are love, loyalty and friendship, said his wife of 50 years, Annette Barrett.
Mr. Smull of Columbia died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, of pancreatic cancer at his home surrounded by family and his cat Wesley William. He was 69.
Mr. Smull was born June 2, 1941, in Williamsport, Pa., to Robert and Hazel (Singer) Smull. He graduated from Troy Buchanan High School in 1959.
He and his wife first met when they were randomly seated next to each other in three of their six classes together during their freshman year of high school. They quickly became close friends and were married on July 24, 1960 in Troy. Mr. and Mrs. Smull celebrated their 50th anniversary with friends this summer.
In 1961, Mr. Smull received an associate's degree from Hannibal-LaGrange College. He received a bachelor's degree with honors in economics in 1963 and a law degree in 1966, both from MU.
While in law school, Mr. Smull was co-editor of the Missouri Law Review, and helped change the color of the cover from Jayhawk blue to Mizzou gold. He was also elected to the Order of the Coif. On Sept. 11, 2010, Mr. Smull was awarded a Citation of Merit for outstanding achievement and meritorious service in law from the MU School of Law.
Mr. Smull practiced law in Columbia for 44 years with E. William Brandecker and retired this summer from active general practice. He also retired from teaching a course on drafting legal instruments as an adjunct professor at MU’s law school for 35 years.
Robert Bailey, a colleague of Mr. Smull's since 1979, said Mr. Smull was regarded as a person of immense competence, dignified professionalism and a kind and gracious demeanor.
“His class was always one of the very first classes to fill up because he was so well regarded by the students, and people wanted to be in his class,” Bailey said.
When Mr. Smull told the faculty that he wasn’t going to be able to continue teaching his class at the beginning of this year, Bailey said the faculty went to him and uniformly praised and thanked him.
Mr. Smull was an active member of Memorial Baptist Church for 49 years. He served on numerous committees and played on the softball and basketball teams. He was also a deacon, Sunday school teacher, trustee and choir member.
Mr. Smull loved his family and being active in his Christian faith, and enjoyed his profession because of all the ways he could help others.
He also enjoyed going to MU football games. Since 1961, Mr. Smull attended all but a few home games, including one this fall despite his illness.
Mr. Smull is survived by his wife, Annette; two daughters, Lori Swetnam of Liberty, and Carmen Smull of Roeland Park, Kan.; and two grandchildren.
His parents and one brother, Bill, died earlier.
Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services will be held 2 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Baptist Church, 1634 Paris Road. Burial will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the MU School of Law, 205 Hulston Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. Donors are requested to make note Mr. Smull on the memo line of checks. Contributions may also be made to Upward Basketball and Cheerleading, c/o Memorial Baptist Church, 1634 Paris Road, Columbia, MO 65201.
Tributes can be posted online at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.