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Smith, Carter

SMITH, Jr., Dr. Carter

Carter Smith, Jr., MD died Tuesday, August 23, 2022. He and his twin sister, Pruden, were born December 15, 1933, to Dr. William Carter Smith and Sue Pruden Smith. Carter attended E. Rivers, North Fulton High School, and McCallie School, graduating with honors in 1952. He always credited his two years at McCallie School with setting him on the path to his professional life and success in life. Carter went to Emory University where he majored in history and was an active member of the Kappa Alpha Order and president of its pledge class. He graduated in 1956 and went to Emory School of Medicine. He met the love of his life, Laura Barkley Walthall, while in medical school, and they were married on October 15, 1960, in New York City after graduating the previous June.

Carter and Laura spent two years in Boston while Carter interned at Boston City Hospital, followed by an appointment as a cardiology researcher at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Harvard Medical School in 1961-62. They then moved to New York City where Carter spent three years at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center for her internal medicine residency, one year as resident assistant responsible for patient care, and two years in subspecialty rotations. He and Laura returned to Atlanta in June 1965 where he began a second year of fellowship in cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital.

In March 1966, Carter joined the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a captain and served as chief of cardiology and internal medicine at Ft. Carson, CO Army Hospital for two years. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his outstanding medical performance and patient care. In March 1968 Carter and Laura returned to Atlanta where he joined the private practice of Smith, Stone, Neely, Brawner and Burns specializing in the practice of internal medicine and cardiology. A few years later, he practiced with Colony Medical Group and Drs. William (Ben) Spearman, Carlos (Al) Stuart and John Carr. In addition, he was part of the staff of the Piedmont Hospital. He was an active member of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Georgia Heart Association, Georgia and Atlanta Medical Associations, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He was president of the Atlanta Graduate Medical Assembly and president of the Southeastern Clinical Club. He has served on the boards of Atlanta Landmarks/Save the Fox, Lake Rabun Association, Piedmont Driving Club, Piedmont Hospital Foundation, Shepherd Center Foundation, and has been active in the Inquiry Club, Leadership Atlanta and the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

Carter was passionate about the practice of medicine and was known for the brilliance of his eyes and his gentleness at the bedside. He was still compassionate and did old-fashioned house calls, carrying on a tradition learned from accompanying his father on house calls in his youth. In addition to family and friends, Carter was dedicated to the McCallie School and Emory Medical School, devoting time and energy as an ambassador to support them both. He received the McCallie School Alumni Achievement Award in 2017 and, from the Emory School of Medicine Alumni Association, the Award of Honor in 2014 and the Judson C. Ward “Jake’s Golden Heart” Award in 2017. He was instrumental in creating the Carter Smith, Sr., MD Chair of Internal Medicine at Emory School of Medicine along with James Edgar Paullin, M.D . and Henry Cliff (Jake) Sauls, MD Chairs of Internal Medicine. One of his greatest accomplishments was the 2021 publication of his book The Enduring Legacy of James Edgar Paullin, MD honoring these three giants of primitive Atlanta medicine.

A longtime member of the Homosassa Fishing Club which he first visited as a child with his father, he loved nothing better than fishing trips with family and friends and spending time on a trout stream. He hunted all over South Georgia and, with his good friend Ben Spearman, made weekly trips to Fish Hawk and Chuck’s Firearms in Buckhead. He was extremely proud to be named Buckhead Boy of the Year in 2018.

After retirement, Carter and Laura traveled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and China and, when not traveling, entertained family and friends at their home on Lake Rabun.

He was a devoted husband to Laura, a proud and loving father to her daughters, Allison Smith Freeland and Tinsley Carter Smith, and a dedicated “dad” to her beloved grandchildren Brooke Alis Freeland and Carter Lockwood Freeland.

Carter is predeceased by his parents, Sue and Carter Smith, Sr., MD; his sisters, Pruden and Sueanne Smith; and his infant son, Carter Smith III. He is survived by Laura, his wife of 62 years; his daughters, Tinsley Carter Smith and Allison Smith Freeland (Jock); his grandchildren, Brooke and Carter Freeland; and numerous Hopkins and Pittman cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 23, 2022 at St. Philip’s Cathedral followed by a reception for family and friends at the Piedmont Driving Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Emory School of Medicine Carter Smith, Sr., MD Chair of Internal Medicine (www.together.emory.edu/giving) in memory of Carter Smith, Jr., MD; McCallie School (www.mccallie.org) in memory of Carter Smith, Jr., MD Class of 1952; and Shepherd Center Foundation (www.shepherd.org/giving/ways-to-give) in memory of Carter Smith, Jr., MD; or a charity of your choice.


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