Ramon Lewis Steelsmith, 92, passed away quietly in Hot Springs, Ark. May 13, 2021. Born November 20, 1928 in Bloomington, IL, the son of Roy and Beatrice (Lewis) Steelsmith, both from Ohio, Ray and his family moved to Glendale, CA in 1940.
An avid golfer at an early age, developing a lifelong passion of the sport, he and his family were members of the Oakmont Country Club, where he eventually became the assistant golf pro. As a young boy, growing up in Glendale, his family and close friends, called the “Tracers,” spent every summer on Crooked Lake in Angola, Ind. where the family had a cottage from 1935-1952. Ray fondly recalled these idyllic times his entire life. Ray was captain of his Glendale High School and college golf teams, winning the PAC Coast Conference Championship at UCLA in 1950. After graduating from UCLA in 1952 with a degree in Business of Science, he did a stint in the Army from 1953-1955 at the Presidio in San Francisco, Calif. where he was in charge of the golf tee times for all the officers and VIP visitors.
Ray was instrumental in the building and promoting of the La Canada Country Club, becoming the club’s first golf pro in 1962. Transitioning from golf into the insurance business in the late 1960’s, Ray worked as a sales agent, later becoming vice president of marketing, eventually retiring to Hot Springs, Ark. in 2001.
Ray was loved and admired by all who crossed his path, most happy surrounded by family and friends, regaling with stories of travel, sports, and his love of music and classic film. Ray was also an accomplished bridge player, and collector of fine art and movie memorabilia.
He is survived by his wife Erma of Hot Springs, Ark., daughters Kelly Turner of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., Kim (Curt) Paine of Van Nuys, Calif., step-daughter Tiffany (Chris) Surran of Dallas, TX, grandchildren Tyler and Rachel Turner, great-grandchildren Rylie and Reef Turner of Mammoth Lakes, Calif., younger brother Jerry (Gayle) Steelsmith of Syracuse, NY, nephew David (Heidi) Steelsmith, grand-nephews Jon, Jacob and grand-niece Julieann Steelsmith of Santa Barbara, Calif. and nieces, Diane and Shannon Steelsmith of Syracuse, NY. A family memorial was held in Hot Springs, Ark. with his ashes to be scattered at a later date in California.