Dr. George W. Smith
1949 - 2018
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Dr. George W. Smith

Murfreesboro - Dr. George W. Smith, 69, passed away on March 23, 2018. He was born to Rev. George and Ophelia Smith of Decherd, TN, January 2, 1949. Graduating from Franklin County High School in 1968, he went on to Tennessee State University. After TSU, he attended Meharry Medical College from 1971-1975 with a focus on family practice and public health.

Dr. Smith established Family Health Associates and entered into the practice of medicine July 1979. He was the first African-American physician to obtain hospital privileges at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Health, he founded the first primary care clinic in Eagleville. For several years he served as Medical Director, then promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Health of the Tennessee Department of Health. Also, he served as the Medical Director of Community Care of Rutherford County for over 20 years. For his hard work and dedication to service and to his profession, he earned several awards including Saint Thomas Rutherford's Physician of the Year and the 2016 Olin Williams Distinguished Physician Award for community service.

He was well known as a servant of the community. He co-founded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund of Rutherford County in 1983. He developed the Leadership Academy of the Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship Fund. He served as a chairperson of Bradley Academy Museum and Cultural Center Advisory Board. He was a member of the Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary Club. He was an avid historian, serving as a founding member of the 13th United States Colored Troops Living History Association and the African-American Heritage Society of Rutherford County. As a lasting legacy, the City of Murfreesboro proclaimed March 18th as day to honor Dr. George W. Smith.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Wilburt and Julia Moore of Decherd, TN; and maternal grandparents, Berry and Flora Smith of Decherd, TN. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Toni Smith; his parents, Rev. George and Ophelia Smith of Decherd, TN; his daughter, Sondra Smith (Jared) of Murfreesboro; his son, Sean Smith (Jilliann) of Chicago, IL; his granddaughter, Margaret Lynn Smith of Chicago, IL; brothers Jimmy Smith of Murfreesboro and Daniel Smith (Rochelle) of Smyrna; sister, Janice Kittrell (Henry) of Smyrna and a host of nieces and nephews.

Lie-in-state held on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 12-5 p.m. visitation 5-7 p.m. at Scales and Sons Funeral Home, 314 East State Street.

Visitation Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 11am - 12pm, funeral to follow at New Vision Baptist Church 1750 N Thompson LN. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund, P.O. BOX 331382, Murfreesboro, TN 37133.

Scales & Sons Funeral Home, 314 East State Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130. 615-893-1313; scalesandsons.com

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Daily News Journal on Mar. 25, 2018.
Lying in State
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Memories & Condolences
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33 entries
June 14, 2018
George Smith was my class mate and friend. He was the best M.D. In our class. A kind spirit who was committed to service to man and love in Christ. Inez and I are praying for the family . I told my wife should serious illness occurs "call George " He was a doctors physician. Larry Perry cardiologist
Congressional Achievement Awardee.
Larry Perry
May 21, 2018
I am so sorry, I just found out about his passing. I met him while working with Giles County Tourism and he became a great help with the Matt Gardner Homestead Museum in Elkton TN. Prayers for his family.
Diana Steelman
April 17, 2018
For just as the sufferings for the Christ abound in us, so the comfort we receive through the Christ also abounds.
2 Cor.1:5
April 15, 2018
Much love to family, friends and colleagues. What an inspiration he is.
Deb DeLozier
March 29, 2018
Rest in heaven dr smith my daughter and i. Love you as our physician mrs judy batten and family
Judy Frazier
March 28, 2018
Please accept our sincere condolences to the Smith family. The Re-enactor Community will sorely miss this staunch supporter of our mission to "tell the story" of black military heroes and sheroes. May he rest in the gentle hands of our Lord and Savior.

1st Sgt. Algernon Ward Jr.
6th Regiment United States Colored Troops
Trenton NJ
March 28, 2018
Jacqueline Battles
March 28, 2018
So sorry for your loss. My condolences to the family!
Juanita Flakes
March 27, 2018
You will be missed ebenezerprimitivebaptistchurch
Gloria and Frank Gaines
March 27, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family of Dr. George Smith. I knew Dr. Smith through his volunteer work for Stones River National Battlefield. He was a kind and generous man and will be missed by one and all.
Ed Davis
March 27, 2018
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Smith. May the Lord bring his family and patients much needed peace during this time. Dr. Smith was a wonderful man and my physician for a very long time. The best doctor a patient could ever ask for. I offer you my thoughts, prayers and I extend my deepest sympathies to his family.
April Coffee
March 27, 2018
Dr. Smith will be greatly missed. He was my Dad's physician and my friend in the world of Civil War Reenacting.

Dr. Smith, your chair is vacant but your place is set. Keep the fire burning and the coffee hot, we will be along shortly.
David Brunner
March 27, 2018
David Brunner
March 27, 2018
To the Family of Dr. George W. Smith. My heart felt condolences are with your family at this difficult time. May God keep you in perfect peace. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Jackie Hill
March 27, 2018
Prayers for all the family.
Blockade Runner
March 26, 2018
I would just like to send my heart felt condolences to Dr. Smith's family, his family at Family Health Associates, his friends, and the countless people that he took care of as well. He was always such a kind, funny, and helpful to those in need. When Dr. Carter was unavailable Dr. Smith....well everyone at FHA was so kind and helpful. He had a calming influence to me with a sick newborn or myself. Quiet and calming. What a wonderful man to have known, I am so very sorry for everyone that knew him and are dealing with their loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. He was sure a blessing to so many. He will be missed.
Elizabeth Hallauer
March 26, 2018
Wonderful doctor and person. He delivered my daughter in 1979 and a son in 1980. He met my daughter here on earth in 1979 and again in Heaven in 2018.
Thoughts and prayers for the family of Dr George Smith.
Betty Weeks
March 26, 2018
My sincerest condolences to Dr. George W Smith's family during this time of bereavement. Dr. Smith was a great man. He was my Dr. when I was little and I was a patient of Family Health Associates until I moved to GA six years ago. Dr. Smith was always smiling and showed genuine concern for the well-being of others. Dr. Smith leaves a great legacy. He will be greatly missed. May God bless his family forevermore.
Kara Kincaid
March 26, 2018
My daily prayer is to God to grant comfort and, peace and guidance to Toni, Sean, Shondra and family and friends. George sweet memories are inbeded in your hearts. Be blessed. I love you.
Your cousin Carrie
Carrie. Odom Gee
March 26, 2018
Harvey Gooding
March 26, 2018
Dr. Smith was undeniably beloved of God, and good things happened around him - consistently and over decades. He was a true friend to many, an exemplary physician, a great community leader, an encourager, and a role model.

As a physician, he said, he often couldn't make as much money as colleagues because he chose to schedule time to talk with each patient. For example, one elderly, very limited-income couple he attended through their deaths would often repeat that "Dr. Smith is a GOOD man!" It was important to them that that word got spread.

Bringing goodness into countless one-to-one relationships is rare enough, beautiful, and praised by God. But to do that on an organizational level is really extraordinary. George Smith gave us that gift as well. For example, he co-founded the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Fund, chaired it for about 30 years, then helped new leaders become established. What righteous insight, to protect a valuable institution by personally letting go!

Bringing due attention to the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans was a lifetime cause for him, and examples of it are extensive. They continued till the end: Less than a month before he passed, he decided to write a series of columns for the Daily News Journal on race relations - how to understand and appreciate one another. (Too bad we missed out on that!)

It was not about race, it was about justice. But even in promoting justice - a serious subject - or other community projects, he wanted people to enjoy the process of working together for good. His smiling face manifest a profound optimism about God's love and about life. When he learned he was down to a fairly short time on earth, he summarized the effect on him as, "Jesus said, love God, and love your neighbor. So I'm spending my time looking for ways to show people they are loved."

He was a great man. We honor his memory.
Bill Ahlhauser
March 26, 2018
sorry for the loss of dr. smith love to the family
faye childress
March 26, 2018
So very sorry for your loss. We love you all. -- Brian, Stelian, Lillian & Nolan.
Brian Maloney
March 26, 2018
I am sad to hear that Dr. George is no longer with us. God received him with warm and loving arms. He was a great person, full of love, and always with a ready smile. I am so proud to have known him! He affected so many lives. May his family find comfort that he was much loved.
Yulanda Burgess
March 26, 2018
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Smith in 1973 and 1974 in the Student Health Coalition West Tennessee project. I have such fond memories of his strength, kindness, graciousness, and diligence in ensuring that the needs of our patients were served. It was an honor to know him and to be able to work with him.
My deepest sympathy to his family.
Dana Ellis
March 26, 2018
Sending condolences to the family. May his Legacy continue.Thanks Dr. Smith for your contributions to society.Rest Eternally. Sincerely, Ms. Tina Kennerly
Tina Kennerly
March 25, 2018
Deepest Sympathy to the Smith family.
YT and Nancy Vaughan
March 25, 2018
I am deeply saddened by the news of Dr.George W.Smith passing my first cousin.
I was so blessed too see him last year his smile and the big hug he gave me will always be with me.
My thoughts and prayers are with you my family.
A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves,for they are still alive in our hearts and minds,through us,they live on.
Prayers and fond memories are what we have to remember our dearly departed.
May the love of family and friends comfort you during these difficult days,my most heartfelt condolences.
I love you all very deeply
Renee Moore
Renee Moore
March 25, 2018
With deepest sympathy in your loss. He will be missed by everyone whose life he touched.
Robert Bell
March 25, 2018
You are AWOL!
William R Young Jr
March 25, 2018
I am very sad to hear of Dr Smith's passing. I knew him from 1999 to 2007 when I was the other Dr. Smith. He was a true gentleman, kind, thoughtful. For me, he was a mentor and friend. For his community, he was an excellent physician and tireless leader. He will be greatly missed.
Steven Smith
March 25, 2018
Our thoughts and Prayers are with you Jimmy and your family.
Vernon and Sue Cook
March 24, 2018
Sending out condolences to the entire Smith family at this difficult time. Dr. Smith was an amazing doctor and extraordinary person. He did so much for so many. We were blessed to have him as our doctor. It was a true honor and always will be.
The Stefaniak Family
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