Dr. Louis (Lou) John Smith, born and raised in East Helena, passed away on December 14, 2017 at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, Burbank, CA, where he served as an obstetrician and gynecologist his entire and distinguished career from 1956 to 1993. He was 93.
Smith served in the U.S. Navy during World War II at the naval hospital in 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 his hospital. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Montana State and his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Oregon (1952).
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 were Hollywood celebrities.
Smith was a talented athlete and in his youth playing handball (Montana State high school champion) and baseball. He was an avid golfer, had a passion for gardening, loved tinkering in his workshop, and had 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.
Smith was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Jennie Smith, his brother Albert, sisters Mary Langenfus and Jennie 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) of Clancy, MT; sister-in-law Marie Karbus, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral and burial services were held on December 19, 2017, at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, CA.