Richard Walter Smolenski, son of Walter J Smolenski and Stella H Smolenski, was killed in a train accident on Feb. 13 in Hackberry, Arizona. He was 70 years old. He is survived by his beloved wife, Nancy Smolenski, his son Ric Smolenski, daughter Kristy Smolenski, brother Gerald Smolenski, sister Sharon Roberts, brother Walter Smolenski, and three grandchildren, Abigail, Asher and Jayden.
He was also brother to the late Theresa Smolenski.
Richard was born on July 17, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan, and graduated from Edsel Ford High School in 1965. He served a four-year apprenticeship with Ford Motor Company from 1966-1970 and worked for Ford from 1966-1982. In 1982, he moved to Norco, California to work at Vought Aircraft Company, and became active in his community. As a lifelong member of the Saddle Sore Riders, he was their two-time Vice President, a board member, an outrider, active in their four-day men’s ride, and ran the Moonlight Madness Rides with wife, Nancy Smolenski. He was on the Horse Week Committee and while a member, he renovated two well-known Norco venues, Nellie Weaver Hall and Ingalls Park. His name is engraved on both buildings. Richard also participated in parade rides as a member of the Horse n’ Around Gang. Richard retired from Vought in 2003 and moved to Hackberry, Arizona with wife, Nancy Smolenski, in 2004.