American Veteran 01

Richard "Dick" Lee Smith

March 7, 1931 ~ January 4, 2021 (age 89)

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Richard (“Dick”) Lee Smith, M.D.


Dick was born on March 7, 1931 in Rake, Iowa where he attended grade school and high school. He enrolled in Coe College and eventually transferred to the University of Iowa where he earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees. 

Upon graduation, Dick enlisted in the United States Air Force and began practicing medicine, treating his fellow airmen and their families. After the service, he moved to the sunnier climes of the desert and joined a family medicine practice in Mesa, Arizona. Dick worked in Mesa for over fifty years, and established a burgeoning practice of devoted, loving, and grateful patients. He retired at the age of eighty, but continued to treat family, friends, and anybody who requested help.


Although Dick was a skilled, respected, and accomplished physician, his life outside of medicine was equally diverse. He had a passion for sports, especially tennis, which he played religiously for most of his life. He also owned and flew his own plane, and enjoyed traveling; something he did extensively. Over the years, Dick developed an interest and love for African Art, amassing an impressive collection over several decades. He was an excellent piano player, was fond of jazz, and talking about sports or music while enjoying a glass of good wine. 

Above everything, Dick loved his family, especially his wife, companion, and soulmate, Joan, with whom he shared a life for approximately forty years. He was blessed with two devoted sons (Sam and Matt) from a previous marriage, and two step-daughters (Robin and Dayna) who adored him. Dick cherished his time with his grandchildren and made them a priority whenever they were ill or needed his time. He also had a special relationship with his sister-in-law Nancy Nace, who spent countless hours with Dick and Joan during his last days.

Dick is survived by his wife Joan, sister Cheryl Winter (Floyd), sons Sam (Cynthia), Matt (Terry), step-daughters Robin Grandinetti and Dayna Hall (Norman), his grandchildren Mathew Smith (Jenna), Alex Smith, Madison Smith, Arfane Smith, Nick Smith (LeslieAnn), Lilly Andrus (Liam), Emily Smith, Noah Smith, Tyler Grandinetti, Drew Grandinetti, Ava Hall, Norman Hall, and great grandchildren Elaine and Sloane Smith.  

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dick’s name to the Foundation for Blind Children, 1234 E. Northern Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85020-9899, (602-331-1470).


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