Dr. Sandra "Sandy" Jean Smith passed away peacefully after courageously battling cancer for several years. Sandy was surrounded by loved ones in the comfort of her home at the time of her passing.
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Sandy was born in Brooklyn, New York to Ellen and Alexander Smith. She was the youngest of four children. Sandy's father had an entrepreneurial spirit, owning several small businesses while her mother worked in retail sales before becoming a successful professional bowler. She loved growing up in New York City and enjoyed recounting stories from her youth of the neighborhood and friendships that lasted throughout her life.
In her adolescence, Sandy worked as a candy striper which ignited her lifelong passion for helping others. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Biology and began her medical career as a nurse showing genuine concern for patients and a promising skill set for practicing medicine. At the prodding of her peers, Sandy enrolled in medical school at Rutgers University receiving a Masters in Medical Science. She then went out on receive her Doctor of Medicine degree from New York University in 1976. After completing a medical internship and residency at Metropolitan Hospital in New York City, Sandy accepted a dermatology residency at King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California in 1982. She was a member of the National Medical Association and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Sandy worked for several local, state, and federal agencies throughout her 30 years of service and was known by her colleagues, residents, nurses, and patients as a compassionate, dedicated, and caring physician.
Sandy's passion for life was robust and extended far beyond any hospital or clinic where she practiced medicine. Deeply religious, she was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church and attended mass regularly. An extensive traveler, Sandy took many trips to Florida, traveled across the US and internationally with friends and family and took a pilgrimage to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan with close friends and parishioners. She also enjoyed quiet moments alone often taking long walks in the mountains near her home and was a "birder" and member of the Audubon Society. With a smile that lit up a room, her jovial and adventurous personality drew people in no matter where she found herself. Sandy collected friends and thrived in enjoying her time with each person that she came to know. With friendships so deep and genuine, she became a family member to countless people, and cemented a special place in their hearts.
Sandy was preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She leaves to mourn her passing nephews Henry Smith, Ronald and Gregory Johnson and nieces Anne Brown and Janet Johnson as well as countless close friends.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church in South Pasadena.
Cabot & Sons, Pasadena
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 26, 2013