August 21, 1941 – August 15, 2022
Modesto, California – Dr. James Michael Smith, born on August 21, 1941, in Houston, Texas, died after a brief illness at Washington Hospital in Fremont, California on August 15, 2022. Smith practiced as a neurologist in Modesto, California for 50 years. Most of his patients and coworkers cared for him greatly and missed him more than all could have imagined.
Michael was educated at Southwest Texas State University, University of Texas Medical School at Galveston and Mayo Clinic. After completing his education, he was enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve where he requested assignment to the United States Marine Corps 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines then assigned to Vietnam. His family, but few others, lived with the understanding that his experiences obtained while serving in Vietnam as a young general medical officer caring for Marines mainly but also other men of other branches of the military as well, were rarely spoken of by Dr. Smith. He shared his inability to speak of his experiences in country, as it was often referred to, with other veterans of that conflict. Yet there seemed to be the idea that, for many, it remained always one of the most fulfilling times of their lives, a time of pathos and colorful memories, comradeship never to be found in later civilian life.
dr Smith leaves behind the love of his life, his wife Pamela, whom he was married to for 53 years. He also leaves behind two daughters, Kristen and Hilary, in addition to six much loved grandchildren; Julia, Nick, Caroline, Abigail, Jenna and Jack Michael. He is also survived by brothers Clayton, Tommy, and Rick all of Texas.
dr Smith’s remains will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery. The family plans to hold a private service.
Published by Modesto Bee on Sep. 11, 2022.
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