Smith was a pioneer in forensic pathology

DR. O’BRIAN CLEARY SMITH

DATE OF DEATH - JULY 9, 2019

DR. O’BRIAN CLEARY SMITH

DATE OF DEATH - JULY 9, 2019

 

Dr. O’Brian Cleary Smith, U.S. Navy Captain (Ret.), of Atoka, passed away on July 9, 2019, at the age of 66.

Smith received his medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). He was the former Medical Examiner for Shelby County and Professor in Pathology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, where his specialty was forensic science. He worked closely with the police departments, and the district attorney’s office, handling crime scenes and autopsies, determining causes of death and testifying in many court cases. He loved his work in forensics and he thought of cases as putting together pieces of a puzzle. He enjoyed teaching students with lectures in pathology; he also instructed residents as they rotated through the Regional Forensic Center.

As a Navy Captain, Dr. Smith participated in multiple military theaters of operation, including in Desert Storm as a Battalion Surgeon. He is known for his ballistics research and had numerous publications in forensic research. Dr. Smith pioneered innovations still in use today in forensic pathology. During his lifetime, he battled many foes, foreign and domestic. Some of his biggest battles were due to his support of law enforcement and science. He met physical, political, and legal attacks with intelligence, grace and courage defeating them all.

In retirement Dr. Smith enjoyed a quiet life on the family farm, growing vegetables and flowers and gourmet cooking with his wife, all accompanied by his dogs, Hector and Gypsy.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert C. and Lulu Smith; brother, Kelly John Smith; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, James W. and Margaret Moffatt.

Dr. Smith is survived by his wife of 32 years, Marge; sister, Alicia (David) Schafer of Chicago, Ill.; brother-in-law, James Stephen (Anne) Moffatt, of Atoka; nephews, James Stephen (Heather) Moffatt, III. of Oxford, Miss. and Christopher Forrest (Ally) Moffatt of Chicago, Ill.. The family extends a special thanks to his dear close friend, Pam Sanders.

The family received friends Monday, July 15 from 5–7p.m. at Munford Funeral Home Millington Chapel and Tuesday, July 16 from 1 p.m. until the service time at 2 p.m. at Salem ARP Church, 3400 Atoka-Idaville Rd., Atoka. Interment was in Salem ARP Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to Salem ARP Church and/or Pleasant Union Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Munford Funeral Home Millington Chapel 901.873.0123 Munfordfuneralhome.com.

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