DR RICHARD LUTHER SMITH
Dr Smith died in Pinderfields Hospital on Friday 16th July following a long period of ill health.
He was born in Sheffield and was fiercely proud of his Yorkshire origins. He studied medicine in London and returned as soon as he could to Yorkshire to join Dr Colin Ashwell and Dr George Collomosse in Crofton and Sharlston. He was to remain a GP here from 1957 to 1993 and to firmly establish his special style of family practice.
He had a strong character which some patients could initially find challenging, but he quickly became a very popular and loyal family practitioner. He didn't suffer time wasters but, for those in need, he offered all that was required to sort out their problems.
His time in general practice was to see the transition of the role from traditional Family Practice of the post war years to the Primary Care Teams of modem practice. He showed the flexibility to embrace these changes and, indeed to become a prime mover in taking on modernisation, even adapting to computerisation.
He and his partners were particularly welcoming when 1 joined the Practice in 1979 and 1 was to learn a lot from his style of consulting, combining the best of the traditional and the modern.
As well as being an accomplished GP, he also took a strong role in Medical Politics and was at the forefront of representing his profession during the many changes h was to go through during his career.
Following retirement, his health was to deteriorate and he changed from being a provider to a recipient. He was always grateful for the care he received, showing affection for the NHS and those working for it. Despite criticisms from elsewhere, he proved a staunch advocate of our local hospitals and healthcare.
His funeral was a celebration of his life with a strong turn out from his family, his colleagues and his patients. His memory will remain etched on the consciousness of both villages for many years.
DR A LEADING