Dr. Ralph E. Smith
Smith Dr. Ralph E. Smith, a retired Mayo Clinic consultant of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine and Professor of Medicine, Mayo Medical School, died from a brain tumor on June 15 at his home in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Smith was born Nov. 28, 1921, in Mobridge, SD. He attended Carleton College and received his M.D. degree in 1946 from the University of MN. Following a year's internship at University of MN Hospitals, Dr. Smith joined the Medical Corps of the US Naval Reserve, serving until 1948. He trained at the University of MN Hospitals and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Mpls. from 1948-50 and from 1950-52 was director of postgraduate medical education for the University of MN at Ancker Hospital, St. Paul. During the Korean Conflict he again served as a medical officer. He was chief of the section of cardiovascular diseases in the Deparment of Medicine of the Veterans Administration Hospital, and attending physician in the Department of Medicine of the Variety Club Heart Hospital from 1954-58. Dr. Smith was appointed to the Mayo staff in 1958 as a consultant in Medicine. He became associate professor in the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine in 1973 and professor in the Mayo Medical School in 1975. His special interest was electrocardiography and he pioneered the widely recognized work of adopting computer techniques to clinical electrocardiography through a joint project with Mayo & IBM. He headed Mayo's high volume Electrocardiography Laboratory and he was the first director of Mayo's program for training cardiovascular specialists. He was a member of numerous cardiology and internal medicine societies and served as president of the Minnesota Heart Association, Governor of the American College of Cardiology, and a member of the Council of Clinical Cardiology of the American Heart Association. He was assistant editor of the journal Circulation. After retiring from Mayo Clinic in Nov. 1986 he spent his winters at his home in Tucson, AZ. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the Rochester Rotary Club, Tucson Foothills Forum and the Tucson Country Club. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marguerite; a daughter, Dr. Suzanne Smith and her husband Dr. Ciril J. Godec of New York City; a son, J. Randall Smith his wife Diane of St. Paul; a brother, Dr. George R. Smith; and two grandsons, Nicholas Godec and Ralph Smith. A memorial service will be held Friday, June 28 at 3:00 PM at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Rochester. Memorial donations may be directed to the American Heart Association or the Mayo Clinic.
Published on June 19, 2002
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