Dr. J. Hal Smith, of Christiansburg, peacefully passed away at his home on Sunday morning, August 4, 2013. He was born in Mountain City, Tenn. on March 27, 1922. Dr. Smith served in the Navy as a Pharmacist's Mate during World War II, and remained in the Naval reserve as a Lieutenant JG in the medical corp until December 1965. Upon completion of active service, he entered The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he received his undergraduate degree, then attended The University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis, where he received his Doctor of Medicine and Surgery degree.
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Dr. Smith completed his internship and residency at the University Hospital in Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1953. He began his medical practice in Christiansburg in August of 1954, and has been a lifetime resident of the community. During his career as a physician, Dr. Smith delivered over 3,000 babies and treated over 10,000 families. He was instrumental in the establishment of Montgomery County Hospital (now known as Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital) in 1971, and was its first Chief of Staff. He was a member of the American Board of Family Practice, the Virginia Medical Society, the Southwest Virginia Medical Society and was a Medical Examiner for Montgomery County from 1954 to 2011.
Dr. Smith joined the Christiansburg-Blacksburg Rotary Club in 1954, and was honored to serve a term as its President. He celebrated his faith as a member of the Christiansburg Presbyterian Church since 1954.
Dr. Smith was married for 58 years to his beloved wife, Ruth, who passed away in 2004. He was the son of Mary Bess and John Henderson Smith (both deceased) of Mountain City, Tenn. He also was preceded in death by two brothers, Lloyd and Ray Smith, of Mountain City, Tenn.
Dr. Smith is survived by his three daughters and their husbands, Karen and Robert Touchton, of Blacksburg and West Palm Beach, Fla., Janice and Dennis Bostic, of Suffolk, and Lori and Rusty Davidson, of Christiansburg. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gregory Touchton, Lori Touchton, Lauren Bostic, Thomas Davidson and Matthew Davidson. Dr. Smith's first great-grandson is due to be born to Gregory and his wife, Lucie, on August 14, 2013. In addition, there are many nieces and nephews, special friends and colleagues included in his extended family.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either The Christiansburg-Blacksburg Rotary Club, c/o Tom Bell, 165 Meadow Drive NW, Christiansburg, VA 24073; The Christiansburg Presbyterian Church Memorial Fund, 107 West Main Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073; or the Christiansburg Rescue Squad, 10 East Main Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073.
The family would like to invite the community to join in the celebration of the life of Dr. Smith which will be held on Friday, August 9, 2013, from 1 to 3 and 5 to 8 p.m. at Horne Funeral Home, 1300 N. Franklin Street, Christiansburg. The funeral will be held at noon on Saturday, August 10, 2013, at Christiansburg Presbyterian Church, with Dr. Don Makin officiating, followed by a brief graveside ceremony at Sunset Cemetery on Franklin Street in Christiansburg.
The family would like to extend deep appreciation to the caring staff at Montgomery Regional Hospital, Dr. Don Bivins and Leah Bivins, Heather Conner and Kimberly Weeks who contributed to Dr. Smith's comfort and care during his last days. Online condolences may be left by visiting www.hornefuneralservice.com.
Published in Roanoke Times from Aug. 7 to Aug. 10, 2013