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Roger Powell Smith


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Lebanon, N.H. — Roger Powell Smith of Lebanon, died on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, at Harvest Hill from complications of COPD. He was born July 16, 1932, in Hokuchin, a remote village in northwestern Korea near the Manchurian border, the son of Burton Powell Smith of Huntington, Ind. and Mary Hannah (McMullen) of Warren, Ind. His father was a mineralogist and mining engineer, in an American gold mining enclave. The family returned to Warren in 1938. During the war years, they moved again to near Philadelphia, but returned again to Warren in 1945. He was an Eagle scout. He graduated from Salamoni Township High School in 1949, and entered Purdue University earning BS, MS and PhD degrees. At Purdue, he was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa, Kappa Psi, Skull and Crescent, Sigma Delta Chi, The Gimlet Club, Rho Chi, Sigma Xi, and Phi Lambda Upsilon. He was active on two student magazines: The Rivet and The Scrivener. On Nov. 1, 1956 he married Rena Joan Pointer of Williamsport, Ind.

The couple spent three years at the Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany, where Lt. Smith was on extended active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve. They moved to Hanover, N.H. in 1960, when Dr. Smith joined the faculty of Dartmouth Medical School. He retired in 2000 as the Irene Heinz Given Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Emeritus, and as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at Dartmouth College, but continued to teach at the medical school as a volunteer. From 1981 to 1987, he was an Adjunct Professor at the Vermont Law School. He served as Chairman of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology from 1976 to 1987. He also served on the Associate Consulting Staff of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and was a consultant at the VA Hospital Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt. He taught pharmacology to 49 consecutive classes of Dartmouth medical students.

Smith was a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences. He was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, received a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Purdue, and was appointed to the President’s Council in 2011. He is a permanent member of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital Service Club. He served as a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, the National Research Council, the World Health Organization, and was appointed to an ad hoc Advisory Group to the President in 1969. He was author or coauthor on a half-dozen books or monographs, fifteen book chapters and well over a hundred scientific papers.

In the community, he was active in the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Youth Hockey, Ford Sayre, Y-Indian Guides, the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College (deacon, elder and president 2005-2007) and served on the Executive Council of the Institute for Lifelong Education at Dartmouth (ILEAD). He taught a number of ILEAD courses. His passion for golf was never exceeded by his talent. In his retirement, he dabbled in free-lance writing. His contributions appeared in Dartmouth Medicine, DMS News and Notes, Here in Hanover, Upper Valley Life and other publications. He is survived by three children: Sam F. of Cornish, N.H., Joan B. Poitras of Ashland, N.H., Ben H. of Scotts Depot, W.Va., and three grandchildren. His brother Dr. David M. Smith lives in Minneapolis.

Funeral services will be announced at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College, 40 College Street, Hanover, NH 03755.

To view an on-line memorial and/or send a message of condolence to the family, please visit www.rand-wilson.com Arrangements are under the direction of Rand-Wilson Funeral Home, Hanover, N.H.