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Louis John Smith


1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr. Louis (Lou) J. Smith passed away on December 14, 2017 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Burbank, where he served as an obstetrician and gynecologist his entire and distinguished career from 1956 to 1993. He was 93.

Born and raised in East Helena, Montana, he was a resident of Sherman Oaks, CA for the past 57 years.

Smith served in the U.S. Navy during World War II at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, as Pharmacist Mate and Lab Technician. After the war, he courted, and then married the love of his life, Dorothy Ann Karbus, who was the sister of a nurse friend assigned to the hospital in Pearl Harbor. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Montana (1950) and his doctor of medicine from the University of Oregon (1952) where he was initiated into the Beta Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Pi.

Smith served his internship and residency in Obstetrics/Gynecology at Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles. He was on the medical staff at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital (San Fernando Valley, CA), St. John's Hospital (Santa Monica, CA), and St. Joseph Medical Center (Burbank, CA), where he served as Chairman of Obstetrics Gynecology Department. He also served on the Providence St. Joseph Foundation Board of Trustees. He was a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the American Fertility Society.

Dr. Smith is credited with the birthing more than 10,000 babies during his career, over 9,000 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. He was highly respected by his peers for his surgical technique and medical acumen. He was beloved by his patients, many of whom where Hollywood celebrities. In 1988, he received a commendation for his service to the City of Burbank and surrounding communities from then-mayor Michael Hastings and the Burbank City Council.

Smith was a talented athlete and in his youth playing handball (Montana state high school champion) and baseball. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed playing weekly rounds at Lakeside Golf Club, Toluca Lake, where he served on the Board of Directors. He had a passion for gardening, loved tinkering in his workshop, and a lifelong interest in American war history.

Smith was known for supporting philanthropic and spiritual causes that included donations to his medical alma mater, Univ. of Oregon, the St. Joseph Medical Foundation, numerous social and Catholic charities, and his local Catholic church parish, St. Francis de Sales.

Smith was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Jenny Smith, his brother Albert, sisters Mary Langenfus and Jenny Predovich, brothers-in-law Joe Langenfus, and John Predovich and son-in-law, Francis Nugent Reese. He is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Dorothy Ann Karbus, and their six children, Kevin, Karen (Mark), Lisa (Allen), Michelle (Jon), Christopher (Jacqueline), and Robert; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; his sister Bertie Bisson (Roger) ; sister-in-law Marie Karbus and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at Angeleno's Mortuary, Van Nuys, CA on Monday, December 18 from 5 - 8 pm; Rosary at 7 pm. A funeral Mass will be said at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, CA on Tuesday, Dec.19th, at 9:30 AM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Maternal Child Health department at Providence St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Burbank, CA.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Dec. 19, 2017
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