1931 - 2021

Richard “Dean” Smith, M.D. (I ’65)


Richard Dean Smith, MD
September 22, 1931 – January 23, 2021
Resident of Walnut Creek, CA
Born in Wakefield, KS, Dean served honorably as Captain in the United States Air Force. Dean is a graduate of Kemper Military Academy, class of 1949, Kansas State University (BS), and the University of Kansas School of Medicine, class of 1957. He remained loyal to KU and its basketball team, traveling to their games in the dead of winter with his son Cameron. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!! Dean attended Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, where he successfully completed a fellowship and residency in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. He later attended Trinity College, Oxford, England for extended studies in 19th Century Literary Criticism.

In 1963, he married Gretchen Lou Gebeck and they raised two sons Cameron Neal and Colin Richard. Dean was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Cameron MacGregor and Velma Walters Smith, and brother David Lee Smith. He is survived by his wife Gretchen and his two sons Cameron and Colin, his brother and sister-in-law Dr. Robert Neal and Rori Smith, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Dean was a private practitioner in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology for 50 years in Walnut Creek, and was Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at John Muir Hospital for 25 of those years.
Dean was a published author regarding the history of medicine, medical practice, mysteries and other fiction. He was, most importantly, an avid scholar and author on the subject of Herman Melville and all his works. In addition, he wrote several articles for Pool and Billiard Magazine, focused on the psychology of winning…an interest sparked by his son Colin’s competitive involvement in the game.
Memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Henry Murray Endowment of the Melville Society, Steven Olsen-Smith, Dept. of English, Boise State University, Boise ID 83725, or the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota.
Please express condolences at oakparkhillschapel.com