Charles Rodney Smith MD
1927 - 2020
{ "" }
Share Charles's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Friends and family unite in spirit to mourn the loss of Charles Rodney Smith, MD. Dr. Smith died on March 18, 2020 at the age of 92. Dr. Smith is survived by children Rodney Wilson Smith, MD of Belmont, NC, Helen Smith Guidry (Jim) of Metairie, LA, and stepson, Robert Wardlaw Orr, Jr. (Cathy) of Dothan, AL. He is also survived by grandchildren Rodney Wilson Smith, Jr., Corinne Brignac Smith Hunt (Drew), Eugenie Heyer Smith, Ella Grace Smith, James Collin Guidry, Jr., Carol Frances Guidry, and Caroline Hornsby Orr. He was preceded in death by only 3 months by his beloved wife of fifty-seven years, Helen Carol Heyer Smith, and a stepson Carl Robert Orr (Elise) of New Orleans. Born in Ruleville, MS, on August 4, 1927, Dr. Smith was the son of the late Charles Leroy and Elsie Vernice Wilson Smith, descendants of early settlors of the Mississippi Delta. He attended Rhodes College (formerly Southwestern) in Memphis, TN, University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS and Tulane School of Medicine in New Orleans. Dr. Smith interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and received post-graduate training in child and adult psychiatry at the Medical College of Virginia and Silver Hill Foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut. He then returned to Tulane for additional training in child psychiatry while on a teaching and research fellowship. Dr. Smith served on the faculties of both Tulane and LSU Medical Schools. He was an active staff member of Touro Infirmary for forty years and on the staff of Coliseum Medical Center, where he served as President of the medical staff and as Director of the drug abuse program. He was also on the medical staffs of Southern Baptist Hospital, Elmwood Medical Center and DePaul Hospital. As a founder of the Burdon-Smith Clinic, a psychiatric practice in New Orleans, he served as President of that group as well as for New Orleans Psychiatric Associates, the successor entity to the Burdon-Smith Clinic. Dr. Smith was a member of the Orleans Parish Medical Society and the Louisiana State Medical Association and was a life member of the American Psychiatric Association. He served as a past vice-president of the Southern Psychiatric Association and on the boards of the New Orleans Committee on Drugs and Alcoholism, Grace House and the Louisiana Mental Health Association. Dr. Smith continued his private practice of psychiatry until 2007, later serving as a consultant to the North Carolina State Mental Health program in Gastonia, NC. The American Psychiatric Association honored Dr. Smith for over fifty years of medical practice. He was a veteran of World War II in the United States Navy Reserve as a Private First Class from 1945-1947. He served as a board member of the New Orleans Opera Association and on the visiting committee to the Loyola School of Music. He had a lifelong appreciation of music and art, having studied at the Academy of Fine Art. He was a member of the Sons of Colonial Wars, St. George Society, Sons of the American Revolution, St. Lazarus Society and Huguenot Society. He was an active volunteer at the New Orleans World War II museum. He was a member of the New Orleans Country Club and various carnival organizations. He was a lifelong member of Trinity Episcopal Church, having served in many capacities including that of Lay Eucharistic minister. Dr. Smith had an irrepressible zest for living. He had a large circle of family and friends and enjoyed all of the social activities our great city has to offer. He celebrated many birthdays and special occasions at his beloved Galatoire's! He treasured time with family, traveled extensively and loved the opera. He especially enjoyed trips to his family home in Perdido Key, FL with friends and loved ones. Dr. Smith was very close to all of his children and grandchildren and they will dearly miss his presence in their lives. The burial will be private. Memorials to be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, the New Orleans Opera Association or a charity of your choice. To view and sign the guest book, please visit

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Times-Picayune from Mar. 19 to Mar. 21, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Please consider a donation, as requested by the family.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home
Not sure what to say?
5 entries
November 24, 2020
He was a wonderful person who deeply cared about his patients. He was my doctor for many years and I always felt like family. I'll always remember his warm words of wisdom and gentle approach. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
March 21, 2020
Dear Smith Family, I pray that you are comforted by The Holy Spirit and engulfed by the peace of Jesus Christ. Surrender your hearts to Him for your healing. I had the pleasure of working with Dr.Smith at DePaul Hospital and Coliseum House. He was an excellent and compassionate therapist for his patients; and shared his immeasurable wisdom with our staff. I am glad to have known him.
God Bless and Keep You,
Frances Ventress
March 20, 2020
I volunteered with Charles Smith at the National War II Museum for five years. There was never a time that I did not enjoy his company. He was a true gentleman who had a lot of class. Charles was a modest man and I would never have known of all his accomplishments in life if I had not read his notice in the paper. I'm sure that all who knew him are deeply saddened at his passing.
William McCoy
March 20, 2020
The staff at Crescent City Hearing Center want to express our deepest condolences to the enitre Smith family. During these trying times, please know that you are in our prayers. Sincerely, Dede, Tony, Leslie, and Margie
March 20, 2020
I met Dr. Smith in 1971. The last time I saw him was on Dec 27, 1919 at his wife Carol's wake. They both became great friends of mine. Every time I went to their house to do work, Carol had to feed me. He was a good man and a great friend.
Nickie Di Maggio
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences