Phillip L. Smith

Phillip L. Smith (Submitted photo)

Phillip Lance Smith, M.D., was born at home in Mountain View, Ark., on Oct 30, 1941, the son of Raymond and Vera Smith. He died peacefully at home in Hot Springs, surrounded by family, on Nov. 13, 2023.

He graduated from Mountain View High School, valedictorian and senior class president, in 1959. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, where he was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity and marched in the Razorback Band. He taught high school in Mountain View for a year until he was "old enough" to begin medical school at UAMS in 1962. He received his medical degree in 1966, was inducted in Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical fraternity, completed his internship in medicine at UAMS, and his residency there in radiology in 1970. He was named a diplomate of the American Board of Radiology in 1971. Receiving a deferment through the Barry Plan, he was able to complete his residency before enlisting in the Air Force, where he served as chief of Radiological Services, LRAFB, Jacksonville, Ark., completing his tour of duty with the rank of major in 1972.

Returning to Little Rock, Dr. Smith joined the faculty of UAMS as assistant professor of Radiology and director of Cardiovascular Radiology. He served in this capacity at the Veterans Administration Hospital and Children's Hospital, as well. During his tenure at UAMS, he became a local pioneer in the emerging field of Interventional Radiology. Along with cardiologist Dr. James Whittle, they performed the first dilation at Little Rock of a coronary artery using a balloon-tipped catheter.

Dr. Smith left UAMS as an associate professor in 1982 to join the practice of Hot Springs Radiology Services, where he worked until his retirement in 2011. He was named a Fellow of the American College of Radiology in 1983. In Hot Springs, Dr. Smith held the offices of president of Garland County Medical Society, chief of staff of St. Joseph's Regional Health Center, and president, Arkansas Chapter of American College of Radiology.

In addition to his medical expertise and love of his profession, Phil was a master craftsman, blacksmith, metal worker, candlestick maker, history buff, voracious reader, storyteller, banjo picker and singer. He was a charter member of the Arkansas Rackensack Folklore Society, and lent his fine bass voice to several church choirs.

Phil would most want to be remembered as the loving husband to Marcia for 58 years, and the adoring father of four children and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Ann Epps.

He is survived by his wife, Marcia Mayer Smith, his children: Laurie Smith Prud'homme (David); Rev. David Smith (Wendy); Katie Smith-Johnson (Mike); Dr. Michael Smith (Dr. Dora); and his grandchildren: Sophie Smith, Caroline Johnson, Isaac Prud'homme, Christian Smith, James Johnson, Elliott Smith and Charlotte Smith.

The family extends their gratitude to Phil's wonderful family at The Caring Place, his Arkansas Hospice team and Dr. Greg Whorton.

Phil was a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Hot Springs, and services will be held there at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Luke's or to The Caring Place, Hot Springs.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Smith family.