George Lafayette SMITH Jr.

  • "Nancy, my deepest sympathy to you and your family. It's..."
    - Barbara Evans
  • "I will miss George, who has taught me humility, kindness,..."
    - Xuan Ho, Ph.D.
  • "Your in my mind and forever in my heart. I feel your..."
    - Megan Smith
  • "George was a close friend through high school as well as a..."
  • "To My Doctor, who happened to be in the right place at the..."
    - Roy (Butch) Smith

Born in Winchester, TN, he died unexpectedly in his home on April 15, 2014. He was 71 years young. He was a legendary physician, a soft spoken Southern gentleman, and a loving father and grandfather who always took time for his family, friends, and patients, no matter how many hours he had been working. He was the type of friend for whom everyone longs. He loved people and took the time to cultivate long-lasting friendships. He was an epicurean, an historian, a teacher, a philosopher, and so much more. He was a voracious reader, with an encyclopedic memory. He had impeccable taste for food, wine, and all things cultural. He was a true Renaissance man with a flair for the exotic, and his barbecued chicken was the stuff of legend. He was an excited student of life, absorbing as much as he could at all times. There were never enough hours in the day for George. He was a lifelong runner, a hiker, a skier, and a golfer. He and his wife, Nancy Doyle, were active supporters of United Way, Sonoma Country Day School, Santa Rosa Symphony, the Green Music Center, San Francisco Opera, and the Hoover Institution of Stanford. They co-founded John Ash & Co. in 1981, helping put Sonoma County on the culinary world map. George loved the diversity of people and conversations that food and wine brought together. George attended medical school at University of Tennessee and did his residency at the University of Colorado before going to Vietnam in 1971, where he served as Chief of Medicine at the 95th Evac Hospital in Danang, RVN. In 1972 he moved to San Francisco, where he did his cardiology fellowship at Presbyterian Hospital. In 1975, he moved to Sonoma County. He practiced cardiology until his retirement from clinical work in 2011. He then devoted more time to his interests in health care policy and reform. He was involved at Sutter Medical Center, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and nationally. As the Northern California Governor of the American College of Cardiology, he published and lectured nationally on these issues. He was a member of the Hoover Institution's Board of Overseers, which gave him opportunities to share ideas and various topics of economics, foreign affairs and national politics. He could hold his own with experts in most fields. He is survived by his best friend of 45 years, Nancy Doyle, daughter Megan Smith, son Matthew Smith and his wife Carrie; grandchildren Daxton and Dahlia Girvin-Smith; sisters Lolly Stuart and Rachel O'Neill, and brother Thomas Smith, M.D. Friends are invited to attend a Celebration of George's life on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the Sonoma Country Day School, 4400 Day School Place, Santa Rosa, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Santa Rosa Symphony, 50 Santa Rosa Avenue, Ste.410, Santa Rosa, CA 95404. Daniels Chapel of the Roses Funeral Home and Crematory 525-3730
Funeral Home
Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(707) 525-3730
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from May 4 to May 5, 2014
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