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A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 pm at Asbury Methodist Church, 101 Live Oak Drive, Lafayette, on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 for Dr. George Robert Smith who passed away on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. The family requests that visitation will begin at 10:00 am until time of service. Reverend Richard Humphries Sr., Senior Pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church will officiate.
Dr. George Robert Smith was born December 7, 1936 in Shreveport, Louisiana to James M. Smith, Jr. and Elizabeth Mahon Smith. After graduating from Byrd High School and Baylor University, he began his medical training at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, receiving his MD degree in 1961. It was in medical school that he met Ethel Stackhouse, who would become his wife and life-long companion. After internships in Shreveport, George and Ethel completed their surgical training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
George entered the United States Air Force Medical Services as a Captain, serving one year in Vietnam. He completed his tour of duty at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. Upon his discharge from the military, the doctors Smith moved to Lafayette in 1968, to begin their partnership in the practice of surgery. Dr. Smith took an active part in medical staff affairs at the hospitals with which he was affiliated. He served as chief of surgery at Lafayette General and president of the Lafayette Parish Medical Society. Dr. Smith’s civic involvement included terms on the board of directors of SLERC (232-Help) and the board of directors of the ULL Foundation and various other organizations. He was active and faithful at Asbury United Methodist Church, serving on the Administrative Board, the Board of Trustees and teaching a Bible class.
Dr. Smith became involved with the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau in 1983. He served 12 years on the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee and was instrumental in establishing a boys’ school to be affiliated with the Academy. This school was named Berchman’s Academy and the two schools became the Schools of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau. He took great pride in his work with those institutions.
Toward the end of his surgical practice, he enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans, earning an MBA degree. He served as Chief Medical Officer at Lafayette General Medical Center for seven years. Then, he began work as a Consultant Medical Expert for Administrative Law Judges in the Social Security Administration.
Dr. George loved classical music, museums, oriental art, philosophy and history with a special emphasis on the history of religion and theology. He was an avid reader. He was a “Superstar” at Red Lerille’s Health & Racquet Club. He served as a Duke in the Krewe of Gabriel, as well as a participant in the Krewe of Bonaparte. He was a patron of the arts in Lafayette, especially Chorale Acadienne. He always treasured activities with his children and grandchildren. Dr. Smith will be remembered for his generosity, community service and dedication to education.
Dr. Smith is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dr. Ethel Stackhouse Smith; his son, Michael and his wife, Elizabeth Hartiens Smith and their children, Evan, David and Catherine; his daughter, Margaret Smith Link and her children, Jennifer and Brandon, all of Lafayette; his sister, Catherine Smith Morgan of Houston; sister-in-law, Alice Stackhouse of Jennings and his nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, James M. Smith, III; one sister, Elizabeth Smith Yoder Siegel and one niece, Saralyn Morgan Murphy.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be given to the Schools of the Sacred Heart at Grand Coteau, 1821 Academy Road, Grand Coteau, LA 70541, (337) 662-5275, sshcoteau.org; Asbury United Methodist Church, 101 Live Oak Drive, Lafayette, LA 70503, (337) 984-4211, asbury-umc.org or Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston Street, Suite 200, Lafayette, LA 70503, (337) 232-1234, hospiceacadiana.com.
Online obituary and guest book may be viewed at www.fountainmemorialfuneralhome.com. Fountain Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery, 1010 Pandora St., (337) 981-7098 is in charge of arrangements.