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Dr. Bob Smith, 79, died at home in Salida, Colo., early Thursday morning July 31 after a long illness.
Robert Lewis Smith was born in Denver in 1928 to Feay Burton Smith and Alice Holmes Smith. A boxer, a sprinter and an Eagle Scout of Denver’s Troop 1, Bob was graduated from East High School in Denver.
He met his future wife, Marjorie Bradbury, when they were both attending University of Colorado in Boulder. Bob and Marje celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary last year. After being graduated from University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1954, his classmates and instructors awarded him The Gold Headed Cane for exhibiting “those qualities which endear the physician to his patients.”
Bob served in the U.S. Army for three years, first at Madigan Army Hospital in Tacoma, Wash., where son Jim was born and then at Landshut Army Base near Munich, Germany, where daughter Corinne was born.
After additional surgical training in Denver, Bob and the family moved to Rangely in 1958. Sons Paul and Rob were born there, and Bob and Marje made many lifelong friendships in the course of Bob’s medical practice and their life in Rangely.
The family returned to Denver in 1966 where Bob took specialty training in pathology at Presbyterian Medical Center. In 1970, Bob became La Junta’s first pathologist. During the next 12 years he organized and administered hospital pathology and laboratory services which continue to serve hospitals throughout southeastern Colorado. He later opened a general practice in La Junta in 1982, and also practiced at the Veterans Hospital in Fort Lyon. Bob and Marje moved to Salida in 1992 where he provided pathology services to the Salida hospital until his retirement in 1997. He was also a member of the Episcopal Church of the Ascension and served as Senior Warden of the Vestry. Throughout his life Bob has devoted himself, by example, to making sure his children and grandchildren grow up knowing how to imagine, how to build, how to play, and how to live. In 2004 Bob received the silver and gold award for excellence from the Medical Alumni Association of the University of Colorado for “outstanding service to the community and contributions to the science and art of medicine.” Bob is survived by his loving wife Marjorie; his sister Janet (Walt) of Denver; his children Jim (Carrie) of Pueblo, Corinne (Mike) of Circle, Mont., Paul (Nancy) of Los Alamos, N.M., and Rob (Cydney) of Boise, Idaho; 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and his devoted dog Sadie.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Feay Burton Smith, Jr.
Bob’s family would like to thank the many friends and extended family members who have visited, called and provided such comfort to Bob during his illness. They would also like to thank the Columbine Manor Care Center, the Angel of Shavano Hospice staff, Barbara Simonson and Dr. Ammatelli for their kindness and help.
A memorial service was held at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension at 349 E St. in Salida, Colo., 81201 Monday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Bob’s name to the Episcopal Church of the Ascension. These donations will be sent from the church to La Ecole Redemption, Goniaves, Haiti.