Cover photo for Larry Lee Smith's Obituary
Larry Lee Smith Profile Photo
1940 Larry 2023

Larry Lee Smith

January 4, 1940 — July 4, 2023


Dr. Larry Lee Smith, 83, of Louisville, KY, passed away Tuesday, July 4, 2023.


He was born on January 4, 1940 at Jameson Memorial Hospital in New Castle, PA. He was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.


Dr. Smith graduated from Youngstown State University with a BA in chemistry and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. He was president of the Christian Osteopathic Society, Iota Tau Sigma Medical Fraternity and the Intra-Fraternity Council of Medical Fraternities while in medical school. He completed his rotating internship at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital. He completed his nuclear medicine preceptorship at the Nuclear Medicine Institute in Cleveland Ohio, where he trained with Dr. D. Bruce Sodee, developer of the isotope Mercury 199.


Dr. Smith organized and established the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Valley Forge General Hospital – US Army, where he served as Chief of Radioisotope Services and Nuclear Medicine. He was responsible for obtaining Atomic Energy Commission licensure for the hospital to utilize radioactive isotopes. At the time, this was the largest hospital in the world with over 1,800 acute care beds. Dr. Smith also underwent an intensive formal preceptorship in Diagnostic Radiology at Brooke Army Medical Center and Valley Forge General Hospital.


Dr. Smith was the Chief of the Department of Radiology at the 12th Evacuation Hospital, in Cu Chi, Republic of Vietnam. This was a frontline 400 bed acute surgical hospital that served the 25th Infantry division, which sustained the highest number of wounded and casualties of any division, located at the base of the Ho Chi Min Trail. He was a volunteer radiologist at the Seven Day Adventist Missionary Hospital in Saigon and was the Chief of the Medical Civilian Assistance Program (MEDCAP) in Cu Chi, Vietnam; the latter was a voluntary military assistance program to provide medical care for the Vietnamese civilian population.


Dr. Smith also served as the Assistant Chief, Department of Radiology for the Combined 3rd & 51st Field Hospitals in Saigon; these were frontline hospitals. He was the deputy to Col. Eugene Chandler, Chief Radiology Consultant for all of Vietnam & an A Classification consultant (one of only four in the military of the highest ranking). Captain Smith was nominated for a Bronze Star for his military service.


Upon returning stateside, he and his wife, Lola, set up an urgent care/family practice office in Canfield, Ohio where he practiced for the next forty years as a board certified general practitioner. Dr. Smith served on the Mahoning County Board of Health and was the Vice Chairman of the Mahoning-Trumbull County Air Pollution Control Board in the 1970s. He previously held an appointment as associate professor in general practice at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisberg, WV. He also served as a general practice preceptor to medical students and residents from Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital, Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Nova Southeastern University – College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Des Moines University – College of Osteopathic Medicine & Science.


Dr. Smith was a private pilot, with a lifelong passion for aviation, and held 2 international patents in airfoil design.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Christian Smith and Virginia Louise Kildoo Smith. Dr. Smith leaves behind his daughter, Dr. Debra A. Smith, of Louisville, KY, and his sister, Rev. Linda (Rev. Dick) Buttermore, of Defiance, OH.


A private service will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to Evangel World Prayer Center, 6900 Billtown Road, Louisville, KY, 40299.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry Lee Smith, please visit our flower store.


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