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IN MEMORIAM: Stephen J. Smith

Stephen J. Smith MD, 69, of Marion departed this life for Heaven on Jan. 20, 2015 while a resident at Bethesda Home in Goessel, Kansas.

Steve began life on April 8, 1945, in Kansas City, Kansas, the first born of Dr. Bruce G. and Dorothy (Dunbar) Smith. His happy childhood and, at times, mischievous adolescent years were spent growing up in Arkansas City, Kansas. Steve’s pleasant and easy-going demeanor was well suited to the simpler life of that time.

He was buried in baptism to faith in Jesus at Central Christian Church. While by no means a stand-out, he was occasionally seen on the hardwood with the Bulldogs basketball squad. Early summer mornings he might be spotted riding his blue homemade motor scooter out East Kansas Avenue on his way to his job shagging golf balls at the Country Club. On one memorable return trip said scooter and its front tire parted company.

Steve graduated from Arkansas City High School and proceeded on to study science and liberal arts at Southwestern College in Winfield, matriculating with a bachelor of science. Medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine followed. In addition to the rigors of medical study, his experience there was heightened by two events, a dark time when he lost his younger brother Aaron in Vietnam and a happy time when he was united in marriage with his college sweetheart Maureen Schwendt.

Receiving his MD in 1971, he and his young family were off to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he completed a rotating internship at Memorial Hospital. He returned to Arkansas City and joined his father in general practice. In 1982, a practice offer and the lure of warmer South Texas weather prompted a move back to Texas, this time to Rockport. Steve continued medical practice in Texas for another decade or more before deciding the time was right for him to retire from the profession. He resided for a time in Marshall, Texas before pulling up roots and returning to Marion where he spent his final years. The final chapter in Steve’s life was brightened when he remarried, this time to his long-time fast friend Patricia Britton, whom he befriended in Marshall.

Steve was sensitive, concerned, compassionate, and enjoyed a good laugh. He was happiest when he was in the duck blind or fishing with his dad and brothers or a good friend. He was a jack of all trades, and, he would be the first to admit, a master of none. And, oh my, he was frugal. He will be fondly remembered and missed.

Survivors include his wife Patsy of the home, sons David (Heather) Smith of Wichita and Darren (Teresa) Smith of Big Lake, Minnesota; stepsons Rob Vinson of Indianola, Mississippi and Gary (Ronanne) Vinson of Huntingtown, Maryland; mother, Dorothy D. Smith of Newton, Kansas and brother Dr. Stuart (Margo) Smith of Warrensburg, Missouri.

He was preceded in death by his best friend and brother Aaron (Ronnie) Smith, sister Monica Lynn Smith, and his father, Dr. Bruce G. Smith.

Cremation and internment at Memorial Lawn Cemetery will be under the direction of Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home. A private memorial service will follow.

Last modified Jan. 29, 2015

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