Lorne Smith, MD

Obituary of Lorne C. Smith, MD

Rockwood, ME and Holyoke, MA – Lorne C. Smith, MD passed away on May 17, 2020, surrounded by his loving family at home in Rockwood, ME at the age of 91. Dr. Smith was born in Lakewood, OH, and attended Ohio University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business. After college, he served as an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations. He was awarded the Bronze star for his service during the Korean War. It was after witnessing the human suffering of wartime Korea that he decided to pursue a career in medicine. Dr. Smith completed his medical degree at the Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, OH. His Internship and Residency in Surgery were at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, where he also met his wife-to-be, Patricia Manes. This set him on a path to becoming an integral part of his Western Massachusetts community, remembered fondly as a “gentle giant” who “worked tirelessly for his patients.” He moved to Holyoke, MA, in 1967 and for 32 years practiced General and Vascular surgery at the Holyoke and Providence hospitals. His surgical practice in Holyoke began with Drs. Robert O’Malley and Edward Ferguson and continued for many years in his independent practice of Valley Surgeons, Inc. He had great appreciation and friendship with his loyal staff of Maureen Desormier, RN, Linda Casey, Linda McGrath, Carol Reinke and Maydee Authier, who all worked with him for many years. He was supportive of bringing female surgeons to Holyoke and took great pride in the training and sharing of his practice with Deborah Panitch, MD, before his retirement in 1999. Dr. Smith practiced medicine in a time of great transition for the field, and was active in bringing both new surgical techniques to Holyoke, such as arthroscopic surgery, and new ways of organizing the delivery of care, as seen by his role in the establishment of Health New England Insurance Company. He was very engaged in hospital, county and medical society affairs as an advocate for his patients and fellow physicians. He served as President of the Springfield Academy of Medicine, as a Chairman of the Massachusetts Medical Society and Chief of Surgery at the Holyoke Hospital. He contributed greatly to the community of Western Massachusetts, serving as the physician for the Holyoke Boy’s Club Golden Gloves Boxing tournament and the Springfield Indians Hockey Team. He was a Holyoke Youth Hockey Coach as a well as a skier at Mount Tom Ski Area. He was an avid fisherman, leading family adventures in pursuit of salmon in Maine, bluefish in Long Island Sound, and bluefin tuna, his most prized catch, in the Atlantic. During his retirement he enjoyed genealogy research, fishing, and boating with his grandchildren on Moosehead Lake in Maine. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Patricia; his children, Lorne, Robert, Katherine and her spouse, Mark, Andrew and his spouse, Marie; and his grandchildren, Amelia, Patricia, and Luna; as well as his brother-in-law, Benjamin Penn; his nephew, Dr. Chris Penn; and his great-niece, Christina Penn; along with numerous close friends and colleagues. He served his patients in Holyoke with tireless compassion. He is remembered fondly by his family, colleagues, and the communities of Holyoke, MA, West Palm Beach, FL, and Rockwood, ME as a figure of integrity, compassion, and professionalism. In lieu of flowers please make a gift to support the following organizations: Holyoke Medical Center at Holyokehealth.com or Valley Health Systems, 20 Hospital Drive, Holyoke, MA 01040; or to Northern Light Health Foundation C.A. Dean Hospital at Northernlighthealth.com or Northern Light Health Foundation, PO Box 601, Greenville, ME 04441; or Rockwood Fire and Rescue, 3634 Rockwood Road, Rockwood, ME 04478; or to CHCS Home Health and Hospice Services, 1093 W Main Street, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426. Arrangements are in the care of the Lary Funeral Home, Dover-Foxcroft, ME. Condolences and memories may be expressed at www.laryfuneralhome.com.
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