The world has lost a brilliant mind as Dr. Gregory Elston Smith, 82, passed away peacefully on May 1, 2023 at Haven Hospice in Gainesville, FL. Born on June 5, 1940 in Seattle, WA to Elston and May Smith, he was a beacon of light in a world that can often be dark.
Greg served his country as a Captain in the United States Army from 1966-68, working as an Army Corp Dentist. He was a man of academia, earning his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Washington. After practicing dentistry in Seattle from 1968-1972, he went on to become a Professor of Operative Dentistry, teaching at the University of Florida and the University of Colorado. He chaired the Department of Operative Dentistry at the University of Florida numerous times throughout his career. He was a longtime member of the Academy of Operative Dentistry and served as the secretary for the organization for 18 years. The Academy bestowed upon him the Award of Excellence in 1998.
Greg joined the Alpha Psi Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity at the University of Washington and remained a didactic servant in the organization throughout his life. He gave freely of his time locally, regionally, and nationally over the years and spent countless hours mentoring brothers in his “adoptive” chapter, Epsilon Mu, at the University of Florida. He received the Order of Merit from Lambda Chi Alpha in 2004.
Greg was a man of many talents, but it was his sense of humor, wisdom, and generosity that endeared him to all who knew him. He was a charitable man who enjoyed mentoring others and had a deep spiritual faith. He loved his family and is survived by his daughter, Deborah Bailey (and her husband, Bowie) of North Lauderdale, FL; his son, Patrick Smith of Midlothian, VA; his grandson, Riley Smith of Wake Forest, NC; his granddaughter, Addison Smith of Midlothian, VA; his cousin, Denise Whitney of Anacortes, WA; and his beloved corgi, Lady Kathryn Anne. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Anne “Perky” Smith; his father, Elston Smith; and his mother, May Smith.
Dr. Smith worshiped at Holy Faith Catholic Church in Gainesville, FL. He enjoyed playing the piano, taking Holland America cruises, loved animals, and was an avid Florida Gator fan. His presence in this world was a symphony of joy and laughter, and although he has left us, his memory will continue to echo through our hearts.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Faith Catholic Church in Gainesville, FL on June 5, 2023 at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, his family asks that contributions be made to the ASPCA, your local humane society, or Haven Hospice of Gainesville, FL.
Dr. Gregory Elston Smith was a shining star in our universe, a reminder of the beauty and wonder that exist in this world. May his soul rest in peace, and may his legacy continue to inspire us all.