Dr. Perry C. Smith Jr., 86 of Washington died Friday-July 10, 2015 at the Washington Hospital. He was born January 19, 1929 in New Brighton the son of the late Dr. Perry C. & Agnes Murphy Smith. Dr. Smith was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Dr. Smith graduated from St. Vincent Preparatory School with honors. He entered Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1950 after graduating from St. Vincent College in Latrobe with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. He was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He married Mary O’Hare in 1951 and with her help and the help of his father, graduated from Georgetown with honors in 1954. He was drafted into the Army in 1955 after completing his internship at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. By transferring to the regular Army, he was able to continue his training in internal medicine and nuclear medicine at Brooke General Hospital, Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.
At the completion of his training he was assigned to Brooke as chief of nuclear medicine. While in this assignment he was appointed associate clinical professor of radiology at Baylor University School of Medicine. In 1961-62 he was assigned to the 2nd. General Hospital, Landsthul, Germany as Director of the U.S. Army Radioisotope Facility Europe. He served there for one year before resigning his commission and returning to civilian life.
Dr. Smith was considering practicing medicine in San Antonio, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico when his mother (who suffered from rheumatic heart disease) became ill requiring hospitalization. Her cardiologist, Dr. Bernard H. Berman of Washington was, as fate would have it, looking for an associate, so Dr. Smith and his family moved to Washington and he joined Dr. Berman.
The association thus formed, grew into one of the largest practices of internal medicine and cardiology in the area and eventually expanding to a five man group by the time of Dr. Berman’s death. Dr. Smith continued this very active practice until 1991. In 1964 he established the department of nuclear medicine at the Washington Hospital and continued until 1999, as the department’s Medical Director and the Radiation Safety Officer of the hospital. Over the years he had held numerous positions on the hospital staff including Chairman of the Medical Division, Chief of Internal Medicine, Chairman of the Special Services Division, Chief of Staff, and two terms on the Board of Directors.
In 1971, he was instrumental in securing the Family Practice Residency program at the Washington Hospital. It was the first family practice residency. At the time of its founding, it was sanctioned by the American Medical Association which was not affiliated with any University.
Dr. Smith met Mary O’Hare during their undergraduate days. She was a student at Seton Hill College, Greensburg. Her school was located about ten miles from St. Vincent College, Dr. Smith’s alma mater. There they met, became friends and married about a year later after their respective graduations. Mary graduated from Seton Hill with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Following the return of Dr. Smith and his wife to the Washington area they became active in the affairs of their respective colleges. Both Dr. Smith and Mary had been honored as distinguished (alumni-alumnae) by their respective alma maters. Dr. Smith was particularly proud of his Irish heritage and became a dual citizen of the Republic of Ireland later in life.
Surviving besides his wife are his children, Daughters; Patricia Smith of Brooklyn, New York, Deborah Smith of Bethel Park, Susan DeMeglio of Atlanta, Georgia and Kathleen Smith-Delach (Robert) of Pittsburgh, Sons; Perry C. Smith of Washington, James Smith of Pittsburgh & Michael (Gretchen) Smith of State College. Eleven grandchildren and three great grandchildren also survive.
Dr. Smith was preceded in death by a son; Paul Smith.
Friends will be received on Monday-July 13, 2015 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. and on Tuesday-July 14, 2015 from 2:00 - 4:00 and 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the Warco-Falvo Funeral Home, Inc. Wilson at E. Katherine Avenues, Washington, S. Timothy Warco, supervisor/director, Susan Falvo Warco, director, S. TimothyWarco II, director. A prayer service will be held on Wednesday-July 15, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. in the funeral home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. in the Immaculate Conception Church, Washington. Burial will follow in Greensburg Catholic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Vincent’s College for Science Education in honor of Dr. Perry C. Smith Jr., 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650. Online condolences may be expressed at www.WarcoFalvoFuneralHome.com