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Kent R. Smith ’53

Kent was an early proponent of looking at the effects the environment has on one’s health. In the ’60s, he worked with Tektronix to identify environmental hazards in the workplace, and in particular particles inhaled that one has no idea are being inhaled. In his practice, he insisted that an annual physical include a pulmonary exam to determine the effects of smoking or smog, for example, on health.

Born in San Francisco, he spent his early years in Spokane, Washington, and Portland. He finished his senior year at Reed while also completing a first year in medical school at the University of Oregon School of Medicine. His residency in internal medicine was followed by public health service doing research in heart and lung disease through a program at the University of Southern California and performed at Los Angeles County General Hospital. The study included the effects of smog on the heart and lungs, as well as clinical studies for measles, mumps, and rubella. With his wife, Ann, and children, he returned to Oregon to practice internal medicine in the Beaverton Medical Clinic for many years. Kent served on the staffs of St. Vincent Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, and Tuality, was a member of the Oregon Medical Association and past president of the Washington County Medical Society. In the early ’60s, he volunteered for Outside In, helping people deal with addiction.

Kent began a second career as an artist working in wood, and his wood carvings, sculptures, and furniture were shown in galleries in Oregon; Sun Valley, Idaho; and Santa Fe, New Mexico. A past member of the Contemporary Arts Council, after retirement he worked for the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, Oregon, the Independent Gallery in Santa Fe, and the Bookmark bookstore in Bend, Oregon. He is survived by his second wife of 45 years, Janice Bartlow Smith; daughters, Kathi Smith-Bolle, Sherri Smith, and Audrey Smith; and brother, David Smith of Portland. His first wife, Ann McClaren Smith, daughter, Marti McClaren, and son, Kent, predeceased him.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2017

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