Louis M. Smith
1929 - 2020

Smith, Louis M.

was born 24 December 1929 in St. Louis and died 30 January 2020 in Kirkwood. He was 90 years old. Louis is predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Marilyn, his brothers Dudley and Bob, and his parents Dudley and Helen. Louis attended Kennard Elementary School where he skipped two grades. At seventeen, he went to, and graduated from, Oberlin College. He met Marilyn in a life-saving class where they were the simulated double-drowning victims. After graduation the couple moved to Minnesota where Louis completed his PhD in Psychology. He accepted a job at Washington University and spent his entire career there. He wrote and published prolifically.

Louis had a passion for participant-observation research and mentored many PhD students. His calling as a researcher suited him to a T. The last four years of his life Lou lived at Manor Grove in Kirkwood where he created, and was supported by, a community of love. Lou lived life to its fullest and when he could no longer have the quality of life he wanted, he made decisions about his death.

Lou was a loving, contemplative, intellectually brilliant and curious man. He will be missed by his daughter, Catee Ryan, his son, Curt Smith, his daughter-in-laws, Lori Ryan and Sandy Smith, his five grandchildren, Holly Smith, Spencer Smith, Emmett Smith, Heather Fiske, and Robin Fiske, and his two great grandchildren, Maxx and Mya.

Services: Lou's Celebration of Life will be on 8 February from 1-4 p.m. at The Marriott Courtyard St. Louis West County in Des Peres. Please come with stories to share about Lou.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Post - Dispatch on Feb. 5, 2020.
Celebration of Life
1:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
The Marriott Courtyard
St. Louis West County, Des Peres, MO
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5 Entries
I was fortunate as Lou was my advisor for my MA and PhD. Lou understood his students and gave good advise without preaching. He always found yet another book that would impact one´s thinking. He knew how to encourage learning. With Marilyn, they entertained students when visiting ethnographers came to St. Louis. Lively discussions ensued. After his retirement and our graduations he organized his former students to meet regularly and share our current work. To this day I ask myself what would Lou do in this situation, his words still guide me. I only just found out about his passing. I send my deepest sympathy to his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. May you all love learning as much as Lou.
Sunny Pervil
July 18, 2021
Im so sorry for your loss. My Mother worked with Marylin for yrs at the day care ,as an R.N. My parents were good friends with both Lou and Marilyn. Their names were Warren and Billie Detering .The Aycocks were also very good friends of our family. I have wonderful memories of those times. My deepest and heart felt condolences. Mark Detering
Mark Detering
January 21, 2021
I knew Marilyn and Lou through their dear friends Lonnie and Bonnie Aycock. From them I knew about Lou's Extraordinary contribution to education through his insightful analysis of what happened to one STL school district. I was invited to the Smith's home on one memorable evening. I treasure that time with this extraordinary couple. I saw Marilyn years later at the Wednesday Club and we wanted to connect more. Life, as it does, goes on. I honor Lou and you, his family and the best of him that lives on in you.
Phyllis Thorpe
February 9, 2020
D Brian Cherrick
February 6, 2020
My deepest sympathy goes out to Lou's Family.
I feel blessed to have had the privilege of knowing Lou, albeit for only a few months. My mom entered Manor Grove in late 2019, and had a room just down the hall from Lou. Lou and I quickly struck up a friendship. His spunk, wit and insights were remarkable. His focus was extreme and his intellect unparalleled, for a man of any age.

I will miss seeing Lou daily and hearing Lou speak proudly of his Children, one in MI, one in CA.

My heart goes out to you folks and I know that the good Lord has welcomed Lou into everlasting Paradise. May you find some comfort in that and in the fond memories Lou undoubtedly left behind. PEACE
Bob Franceschelli
February 5, 2020
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