Ronald Wilheim Smolka, age 61, passed away July 21, 2019. A Des Plaines resident for the last 23 years, Ronald was born in Chicago Sept. 25, 1957, the son of Horst and Anita (Adermann) Smolka. As a 1st generation American, he was proud of his German heritage and his ability to read and speak the language.
He graduated from Lane Tech High School in 1975, and then went on to obtain an Associate in Arts degree with honors in engineering from Wright College and a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1979. He continued with post-graduate education in mechanical engineering at IIT while employed in the petroleum refining industry.
Starting with Caribbean cruises with his parents as a young boy, Ronald enjoyed traveling the world whenever he had vacation time from his career as Reliability Engineering Supervisor with Union 76 Oil Co. and as President of Decker-Smolka Corp. He was also a model train enthusiast and a devotee of crossword puzzles. Space exploration and science fiction writings were favorite reading materials.
Ron was a generous person who always wanted to make people laugh and feel at ease. He is survived by his many friends and cousins. His parents preceded him in death.
Private interment will be at Acacia Park Cemetery in Chicago. Memorial contributions to the Disabled American Veterans www.dav.org would be appreciated.