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Marcus J. Smith Dachau research and materials, undated

Identifier: MSS 1545 Series 2

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

This collection consists of personal correspondence, background and research materials relating to Dr. Smith's books, articles, histories, and miscellaneous items. The correspondence is primarily between Dr. Smith and his wife, Carol Kander Smith who was also a physician, and spans the years 1943-1954. The letters written during the war years later became the foundation sources for his book on Dachau. The research materials include documentation for Dr. Smith's book "Dachau: the Harrowing of Hell", his numerous articles on medicine, and a pictorial history of St. Vincent Hospitial entitled, "The Hospital at the end of the Santa Fe Trail." Memorabilia includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets and brochures relating to medical history particularly in the American Southwest. The personal materials document the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, their early life and education, their family life, their individual medical careers, their separate roles during World War II, their interest in Southwesthern history, and their life, career, and civic contributions in Santa Fe and New Mexico.

Scope and Contents From the Collection:

This collection consists of personal correspondence, background and research materials relating to Dr. Smith's books, articles, histories, and miscellaneous items. The correspondence is primarily between Dr. Smith and his wife, Carol Kander Smith who was also a physician, and spans the years 1943-1954. The letters written during the war years later became the foundation sources for his book on Dachau. The research materials include documentation for Dr. Smith's book Dachau: the Harrowing of Hell, his numerous articles on medicine, and a pictorial history of St. Vincent Hospital entitled, The Hospital at the end of the Santa Fe Trail. Memorabilia includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets and brochures relating to medical history particularly in the American Southwest. The personal materials document the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, their early life and education, their family life, their individual medical careers, their separate roles during World War II, their interest in Southwestern history, and their life, career, and civic contributions in Santa Fe and New Mexico.


  • Other: undated


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Marcus J. and Carol K. Smith papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Marcus J. Smith was an author and radiologist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During World War II he served as a physician with the U.S. Army in Europe. He was a member of the team of Allied physicians responsible for the care of the survivors of the Dachau concentration camp following its liberation by the U.S. Army in 1945.

Biographical History

From the Collection:

Marcus J. Smith was an author and radiologist in Santa Fe, New Mexico. During World War II he served as a physician with the U.S. Army in Europe. He was a member of the team of Allied physicians responsible for the care of the survivors of the Dachau concentration camp following its liberation by the U.S. Army in 1945.

Born: New York City, Dec. 14, 1918. Died: Santa Fe, May 25, 1986.


Father: Morris Smith (b. Semiatitzky), b. 1882, Orwe, Byelo-Russia, Russia; emigrated to the USA around the turn of the century; d. 1958, NYC, MD, Long Island College of Medicine, 1913. Mother: Fannie Smith (b. Edelstein), b. 1887, Bialystok, Russia, d. 1959, NYC, seamstress, pianist, French teacher. Sister: Sylvia Beatrice Smith (Rabinof), b. NYC, Oct. 10, 1913; concert pianist, composer, teacher (retired from Julliard); m. Benno Rabinof, 1945 (d. 1975), violinist, they were a well-known and successful piano-violin duo and performed all over the world for more than twenty-five years; m. Charles Rothenberg, lawyer, 1978. Wife: Carol Mathilde Kander, b. NYC, July 3, 1917, m. June 29, 1941, M.D. (pediatrician), NYU College of Medicine, 1942 [father, Allen Kander, 1888-1970, journalist, businessman; mother, Jeanette Unger (Kander), M.A., 1893-1976, economist art historian]. Daughter: Patricia Anne Smith, M.A.; b. Minneapolis, June 20, 1947, social services worker, technical writer. Son: Frederick M. Smith, Ph.D.; b. Sant Fe, Oct. 12, 1948; teacher (university), specialty South Asian languages, history and religions; m. Kathleen Marie Graff (b. Milwaukee, Oct. 1, 1947), June 12, 1971; hospital administration. Son: Peter Michael Smith, B.A.; b. Santa Fe, March 25, 1950; teacher, operates children's camps in Mexico. Son: Andrew Theodore Smith, J.D.; b. Chicago, Jan. 13, 1952; anthropologist, art dealer, attorney; m. Kara Kellogg, 1978, div. 1982, m. Claire Theresa Lozier (b. Brockton, Mass., Feb. 14, 1954), Sept. 14, 1984; social services; daughter: Arielle Joelle Smith, b. Albuquerque, June 21, 1986.


High School: DeWitt Clinton H.S., NYC, 1935. College: NYU College of Arts and Sciences; BS, 1938. Medical School: Long Island College of Medicine (SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn), 1942; award: Szerlip Prize for research on pulmonary disease. Internship: Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn, 1942-1943. Radiology Fellowship: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 7/46-6/48.

Military Service

Medical corps, active duty, US Army: July 1943-May 1946. Memphis, Tenn., Army School of Radiology, 7/43-8/43. Hot Springs, Ark., 8/43-1/44. Bruns Hospital, Santa Fe, 1/44-6/44. European Theater: 10/44-3/46; 63rd Infantry; distinction: sole Medical Officer of Displaced Persons Team at the Liberation of Dachau. Bronze Star. May 1945, two campaign stars; Combat Medical Badge.

Medical Career

Private practice in Santa Fe, 1948-1976; Santa Fe X-Ray Laboratory; Marcus's practice was based here, and service at the following medical facilities was conducted on a regular basis with either Marcus or one of his partners traveling to the following hospitals, mainly outside Santa Fe, at least once a week: St. Vincent's Hospital, Santa Fe; U.S. Indian Hospital, Santa Fe (consultant, 1948-1976); St. Anthony's Hospital, Las Vegas (1949-1967 active, thereafter consultant); Las Vegas Community hospital (1949-1967 active, thereafter consultant); Los Alamos Medical Center (1949-1950 active, thereafter consultant); Sandia Base Hospital, Albuquerque (1948-1950 consultant); Espanola Hospital, Espanola (1949-1974 active, thereafter consultant); Embudo Presbyterian Hospital, Embudo (1949-1972 consultant); Holy Cross Hospital, Taos (1950-1970 active, thereafter consultant); Pond Clinic, Taos (1950-1970 active, thereafter consultant); Consultant in Radiology, New Mexico State Penitentiary (Santa Fe) (1950-1970). Membership in professional medical societies: American Medical Association; Fellow of the American College of Radiology; Radiologic Society of North America; American Roentgen Ray Society; Rocky Mountain Radiological Society; New Mexico Radiological Society; New Mexico Medical Society; Sant Fe County Medical Society. Service to the profession: Chief of staff, St. Vincent's Hospital, twice (1956, 1967 (100th anniversary year)); Santa Fe County Medical Society, President three times; President of the Rocky Mountain Radiological Society three times and continuing member of the executive committee; New Mexico Medical Society: active delegate: served on public relations, education, and radiation safety committees; Regional Editor, Rocky Mountain Medical Journal (1959-1981); Regional Editor, Western Journal of Medicine (1981-1984); Co-founder and Vice-President of Symposia de Santa Fe (1976-1982).

Community Activities

First Presbyterian Church: choir for 27 years, trustee (1968-1971), elder (1983-1986); Community Concert Association: Board President 1963-1965; Chamber Music Festival: served on the Board of Directors and in Development; Santa Fe Opera: served on development committee (1957-1983); St. Vincent's Hospital: served on development committee for many years, founder of St. V. Hosp. Foundation, President 1980-1982; Santa Fe Fiesta: for many years an active participant; New Mexico Historical Society: member; Santa Fe Historical Society: President, 1972-1975, on Board of Directors for many years; Presbyterian Medical Services Board, 1972-1974.

Hobbies and Interests

Bridge: an avid player until the mid-1970s, he became a Life Master in 1970, member of American Contract Bridge League; Creative Writing: Marcus actively participated in writers groups. Throughout his career practically all his spare time was occupied by his writing; Personal Education: Marcus took many courses, particularly on American History and Western philosophical and religious classics, at the College of Santa Fe and St. John's College; History: Marcus had special interests in World War II, esp. Holocaust studies, and Southwest history, esp. medical history and Catholic Mission history; Music: as noted above, Marcus was an enthusiastic supporter of the musical arts in Santa Fe, and was himself an accomplished vocalist. Besides the Presbyterian Church Choir, he participated in many local chorale groups. Music was always at the center of his consciousness; Travel: Marcus and Carol traveled a good deal in the Southwest, vacationing particularly in Colorado Springs and Tucson. He enjoyed mountains, countryside, natural beauty. This was one of his reasons for coming to Santa Fe in 1948.

Publications and Other Writing


Error and Variation in Diagnostic Radiology; Charles C. Thomas, 1967. Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell; University of New Mexico Press, 1972. The Hospital at the End of the Santa Fe Trail; with Clark Kimball; Rydal Press, Santa Fe; 1977. What Ever Happened to the Catholic Hospitals?; unpublished; 1982; on file at Smithsonian Institution, Museum of New Mexico History Library, BYU Archives.

Scientific articles:

Many: published frequently beginning in 1947. Particularly noteworthy are editorials and columns in the Rocky Mountain Medical Journal, and scientific articles in the American Journal of Radiology and the Journal of the American Roentgen Ray Society. Music Column: regular feature in New York University Daily, 1936-1938.

Other writing:

For his own amusement and that of his friends, Marcus wrote poetry, plays (some of which were performed), short stories, and the draft of at least one novel.

This archive contains Marcus J. Smith's papers relating to both World War II and southwest history. The former includes correspondence with his wife from 1944-1946, World War II memoirs including a number of drawings collected at Dachau, and source and draft material for his 1972 book on Dachau. The latter includes a bulk of papers related to his unpublished 1982 book on the history of St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe. This very expansive project dealt with the entire history of the Sisters of Charity in America and their westward movement from Cincinnati in the middle of the 19th century that precipitated the founding of St. Vincent's, and all that transpired from then until the new hospital was constructed in 1974. These two dominant preoccupations in Marcus's life reflect most of his abiding philosophical and humanitarian concerns. Therefore we will give a brief account of his life, an account that is necessarily more of a sympathetic recollection than a studious exercise in biography. At the core of this sympathy, like the sun extending its rays in all directions, is the fact that Marcus left the world and all of his many friends and acquaintances intellectually and spiritually richer with each meeting than it and they were beforehand. His integrity, serious sense of commitment, and all too rare quality of humility could not help but touch those around him.

Marcus was born in December 1918 of ethnically Russian Jewish (but not religious) parents in the lower east side in Manhattan. Because Marcus practically never spoke of his youth, we know few details of his childhood and adolescence. This was strangely consistent with his predisposition as a historian. He believed that the past should exist in the present principally to the extent that it is able to instruct us. This did not mean to him, however, that history should be lifeless; it meant that the life and liveliness, joys and sufferings of the past existed within moral settings that could and should be profitably applied to contemporary situations. We know that his childhood was not particularly happy, that he loved and admired his father, a selfless and humanitarian doctor who worked at night as a janitor to put himself through medical school and who later wrote poetry for a foreign language newspaper (he knew eight languages). We also know that his mother, a fine pianist, was very bright but unfortunately neurotic, that his sister Sylvia, whom he greatly admired, was a prodigy at the piano [and later attained commensurate recognition], that he read voraciously and took an active interest in his voice lessons, that from an early age he determined he would not spend his life in New York City, and that his Jewish heritage did not bind him to Judaism.

His major subjects in college were English and Psychology, and he took the minimum science requirements. We gather that his college days were cheerful, as he was involved in writing music columns for the NYU newspaper, singing in choral groups, drama, and playing a little basketball. Upon his graduation from college he was offered a scholarship to the Schola Cantorum in New York City, well known as a finishing school for budding opera singers. However, at the behest of his father, Marcus attended medical school. It was the wake of the Depression and a medical career appeared to be a safe living. Therefore he entered the Long Island College of Medicine, the same medical school that his father attended thirty years earlier. The month he began medical school he met Carol Kander, a medical student at NYU, whom he married in June 1941, a year before his graduation from medical school. In medical school, Marcus was active in the student journal and yearbook, and in drama. After medical school he and Carol both served a one year internship at King's County Hospital in Brooklyn before he was activated by the Army in July 1943.

His first assignment in the Army was at Memphis, Tenn., where the Army decided he would be a radiologist. He was then assigned to Hot Springs, Ark., Santa Fe, and Abilene before embarking for Europe at the end of October 1944. He was enchanted by Santa Fe during his six month tour of duty at Bruns Hospital from January through June 1944. Therefore, when local radiologist Dr. Murray Friedman asked Marcus a few years later if he could come to Santa Fe permanently he did not hesitate.

Marcus came to Europe as a lieutenant, serving in the war first with the 7th Army in England, Scotland and France. Around Christmas 1944 he was assigned to the 63rd Infantry Division (Collecting Company). He participated as a medical officer with the Army as it crossed the Rhine and entered Germany as the Nazi regime collapsed. At the end of April, 1945, in Germany, Marcus (then 26 years old) underwent one of the formative experiences of his life. The sole medical officer working with a displaced person team, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp just after it had been liberated by Allied troops and several days before the shocking conditions of the camp were publicized throughout the world. Until an international team arrived at Dachau a few days later to assist with repatriation, the small army team (with Marcus as the only doctor) was on their own to do what they could for the starved and seriously ill camp survivors.

The primary responsibility of the team assigned to Dachau was the rehabilitation of the inmates, who were virtually all displaced persons from nearly all European countries. Marcus, ever the meticulous observer, kept an elaborate notebook there, in which he recorded the progresses and setbacks in the rehabilitation process, the joys and troubles of the inmates, the bureaucratic intricacies, and his own reactions. He was without question traumatized by the horrors of the camp, the condition of the inmates, and the difficulties accompanying their rehabilitation. Though this occurred after the end of hostilities in Europe, he emerged with a scarred psyche akin to that of concentration camp survivors. Such was the delicacy of his sensitivity. Nevertheless, his native cheerfulness and belief in the essential goodness in man survived fairly intact. This was in no small measure due to the influence of the writings of the interned theologians Martin Niemoller and Dietrich Bonhoffer, whose astonishing and inspirational acts of faith enabled them to rise above the Nazi atrocities.

In May 1945, Marcus was awarded the Bronze Star for his work at Dachau; a month later he was promoted to Captain. Marcus's final European assignment was to work with a Russian repatriation center. One of his cherished off-duty memories of that period, natural for an ambitiously literary young American, was his meeting with Gertrude Stein on a wintry Parisian day.

Between 1948 and 1950, he wrote the first draft of a book on Dachau. Publishers rejected the book as being too realistic. Many years later, in 1968, Marcus unearthed his Dachau notes and his detailed daily letters to Carol and used them as primary materials for his meticulously researched and intimately related account of the rehabilitation of the displaced inmates at Dachau. This book, entitled Dachau: The Harrowing of Hell, was published in 1972 by the University of New Mexico Press.

Two months after Marcus's return to the States in April 1946, he and Carol moved from Chicago, where she was serving a residency in pediatrics and working in the clinic at the Children's Hospital of Chicago, to Minneapolis where Marcus received a two year fellowship in radiology and Carol received a clinical teaching assistantship in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. In June 1947 their first child, Patricia Anne, was born in Minneapolis.

In June 1948 they drove in a light green 1946 Chevy with one and a half children from Minneapolis to Santa Fe, where they began their professional careers in private practice in radiology and pediatrics. Over the next few years both the family and the size of their practices burgeoned. In October 1948 their first son Frederick Marcus was born. In the same month Carol opened her own private pediatric practice in Santa Fe. In March 1950 the second son, Peter Michael, was born and in January 1952 the final member of the family, Andrew Theodore, was born. In 1949 and 1950 Marcus' practice began covering all of north central New Mexico. For a good fifteen years he would drive once a week to Las Vegas, once a month to Taos, once a month to Los Alamos, and twice a month to Espanola (until those towns acquired their own radiologists). These duties were subsequently shared with his principal partner, Dr. Elliott I. Wyloge, after his arrival in Santa Fe in 1954. In this way, Marcus became well-known in northern New Mexico. As a physician he continually monitored his practice, taking notes where other doctors feared to tread, i.e. in the area of their own mistakes. The results of this was his scholarly 1967 book, Error and Variation in Diagnostic Radiology.

In October 1951 came one of the major traumatic events in Marcus's and Carol's lives. Carol contracted bulbo-spinal polio during an epidemic that left at least twenty dead or paralyzed in the Santa Fe area. The disease ran its course in about 2 weeks, but she was left paraplegic from that point onward. She spent roughly the next eight months in Chicago undergoing rehabilitation under the supervision of some of the people she had known when she was a resident there seven years earlier. Marcus visited there every six weeks, and Andrew was born healthy and unaffected on January 13, 1952. Marcus took Andrew to Santa Fe about six weeks later, where the parental committee, which included Marcus, Mrs. Katherine Duran, and Vickie Baros reared the children admirably. During this period Marcus arranged to have a five bedroom house constructed near the mountains on the east side of Santa Fe on 3½ acres of picturesque land. The house was designed on one floor and was wheelchair accessible. It was ready for occupation in August 1952. The house worked out splendidly, and Carol and various members of the family continue to occupy the house 35 years later. Over the next three years Carol spent another eight months at the University of Chicago having reconstructive surgery.

At the time of the polio, both Marcus and Carol vowed not to permit the illness to affect their lives negatively and to live as normally as possible given Carol's restricted mobility. The children were raised normally. Carol carried on her medical practice without hindrance and drove a car with the help of a hand brake (her right foot had enough strength to control the gas pedal). Marcus and Carol enjoyed normal social lives and took regular summer vacations. Naturally Marcus' work load increased, inasmuch as it was primarily his responsibility to push Carol's wheelchair. However, Marcus always bore his responsibilities patiently and unremittingly, and never was this more apparent than in his steady and nurturing love and support of Carol. In fact, her stance towards her disability contributed substantively to two of his maturely developed notions. Firstly, it reinforced the conviction that with the proper resolve and outlook even the bleakest adversity could be overcome, much like Niemoller and Bonhoffer had demonstrated with regard to the Nazis. Secondly, it helped nourish his belief in the equality of women. Though Carol's remarkable success and ironclad resolve were a constant inspiration in this, he found demonstrable support for this elsewhere as well, for example in his sister Sylvia's success as a concert pianist and in some of the Catholic Sisters who contributed to the founding and growth of St. Vincent's Hospital over the last century and a half. He thus naturally advocated women's rights and the ERA.

Marcus continued his medical practice in Santa Fe for 28 years. The medical aspects of his practice were unspectacular; he encountered the usual rewards, problems (but no malpractice suits), and illnesses. He was known as a sensitive, humane, and considerate doctor. Both he and Carol steadfastly maintained that the medical profession was one that intimately involved doctor with patient. There was no trace in them of some of the more unfortunate institutional attitudes that permeate medical practice now, and that by definition breed distrust, i.e. regarding the doctor as the health provider and the patient the consumer. As time went on, though, he was drawn to early retirement by three factors: firstly, his initial interests in writing took the upper hand and finally wrought a career change, secondly he had absorbed as much radiation as was tolerable after three decades of Radiology practice; and thirdly the discipline of Radiology was changing so rapidly, primarily in its move towards invasive procedures, that he felt the practice was better off in the hands of younger physicians.

During his medical career he became very active in both medical and community affairs, in the latter particularly with the perpetuation of art and music. In fact, he was so well-known for the latter that upon his death the biographical article on him in The New Mexican, the Santa Fe daily newspaper, was entitled Local Arts Leader Dies (cf. The New Mexican, 27 May 1986). Though notably quiet and reflective, his easy wit, natural poise, broad and ready knowledge, and conciliatory attitude towards conflict led him effortlessly and practically unintentionally to the center of these spheres of activity. For names of the various groups in which he was active, see the detailed Vita above. At the very least, this testifies to his enormous popularity within his peer groups. Among the reasons for this, besides those already mentioned, were his keen sense of charity, his unabashed honesty, and his skill as a public speaker. What he especially enjoyed working with, because they covered different areas of his commitments, were the local music groups, the historical society, the St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation, and the First Presbyterian Church.

He was a very strong proponent of continuing medical education and traveled widely to attend seminars. He felt that too many physicians essentially ceased their educations at the close of medical school. In part this is what motivated him to become an active staff member of the Rocky Mountain Medical Journal (RMMJ), which he served as New Mexico editor from 1959-1981. In addition, after his retirement from private practice in 1976, he and a colleague, Santa Fe ophthalmologist Dr. Walter Levy, founded the Symposia de Santa Fe. This sponsored medical education seminars in Santa Fe throughout the year, and lured doctors nationwide with a combination of lectures by first rate speakers addressing issues at the forefront of medical research and trips to the Santa Fe Opera and other local points of tourist attraction. He very much enjoyed his work with the Symposia during the seven years of its operation.

In the 1950s, Marcus began reading about the history of medicine in the Southwest. What began as a hobby, resulting in a few editorials in the RMMJ and a float in the Fiesta Parade in 1962 humorously depicting progress in medicine during Santa Fe's 350 years, turned into a full time occupation by the mid-1970s. The year he retired from medical practice, 1976, he was invited to apply for a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to write a book about the history of St. Vincent's and its background in the Sisters of Charity. He had just written the text for a short book on the subject (The Hospital at the End of the Santa Fe Trail, in collaboration with Clark Kimball), and now with the acquisition of the NEH grant, he threw himself fully into this work, which occupied him for the rest of his productive life.

He was a meticulous historical researcher, a fact already well-attested a decade earlier when he read widely about the Holocaust in preparation for his Dachau book. He spent most of the next six years reading histories, new and old, going through a century and a half of newspapers in the Museum of New Mexico archives, sifting though hospital and Catholic Church records, and interviewing all the living sources of the Hospital's history. He derived tremendous enjoyment from his research, and was always willing to entertain those around him with tales of New Mexico history. Though he condensed thousands of pages of notes into about 650 pages of text, the history was not completed. The material he has brought together is invaluable and it is hoped that a future historian will make use of his manuscript and perhaps weld it into a more finished book. Among the papers included in his archive established at BYU are a finished copy of the manuscript and a couple of boxes of notes relevant to the project, culled from at least ten times that amount.

Marcus was very active in the affairs of both the Hospital and the medical community in northern New Mexico. He envisioned himself in the tradition of some of the early frontier doctors and Sisters, whom he greatly admired, who overcame great difficulties in their efforts to establish modern medical programs in the Southwest. He thus worked very hard for the establishment of the new Hospital in the late '60s and '70s and in its transition from a Catholic hospital to a non-profit community hospital. In the early '80s he served as President of the St. Vincent's Hospital Foundation. This commitment to the new hospital was related to a more general belief in progress. He believed strongly in the liberating value of social, medical, and technological progress, from laws encouraging the relaxation of social prejudices to new medical therapies to household devices that freed one from traditional drudgeries.

As a father and husband, Marcus was characteristically firm in his commitments. He was a conscientious provider, always congenial and ready with a smile and a pun, whether it was from behind his typewriter or at the dinner table. He maintained close and healthy relationships with all his children while encouraging them to develop their own interests. The family was very close-knit in spite of the fact that by the mid-seventies it had dispersed literally to all the ends of the earth. In fact this was due in no small measure to his and Carol's liberality. He tried to infuse in his children his curiosity, his refined tastes in classical music, in cuisine, in the subtle joys and eccentricities of language, in the virtues of Beauty, Compassion, and Charity, and in the intellectual joys of life on which he subsisted. It might be mentioned here that in the early 1970s he tried to broaden his own education by taking courses in Greek classics, medieval religious texts, and post-renaissance philosophy at St. John's College. He always worked on his own writing and participated in regular writer's groups in Santa Fe. He particularly admired H.L. Mencken and James Thurber for their clarity and humor and strove towards these ideals. He was committed to most of the liberal political causes (he and Carol often were part of a small minority within the conservative AMA), though he had little interest in active politicking.

Among the people whom he most admired might be counted Albert Schweitzer, for reasons that are obvious to a humanitarian doctor; his wife, for her insistent refusal to let adversity gain the upper hand; and one of his original colleagues in Santa Fe, Dr. Aaron Margulis, a pathologist who died December 31, 1960, who was also a wonderful pianist and otherwise extraordinarily well-read and intelligent. Among his closest friends (besides Dr. Margulis and his wife Elizabeth) one should especially note Dr. Robert Zimmerman of Colorado Springs, whom he first met in Medical School. Their close friendship continued for more than 45 years. Also there was Dr. Bergere Kenney of Santa Fe who was a kindred soul. Their relationship also flourished for nearly 40 years in Santa Fe. Another very important friend was Jack Potter, who lived in Santa Fe from 1966 until his death in 1973. Jack owned a used book and record store that Marcus often visited. Both he and Marcus had a deep love for classical music, was a sharp and discerning listener, and was more interested in enjoying than in criticizing.

Though Marcus left an unusually large legacy of friends and acquaintances, he was difficult to know deeply. He was most unassuming in his brilliance and always chose to listen before speaking. For a nation becoming increasingly adjusted to assertive egos, this was on the one hand a respite for his friends and acquaintances, but on the other hand it rarely let another person inside his sufferings, which he endured quietly.

His chief form of recreation for more than two decades, until the mid-seventies, was bridge. As usual he was thorough in this, and read dozens of bridge books and subscribed to the major journals. Normally he played bridge a couple of nights a week, with a few favorite partners, and in 1970, while at a medical conference in Florida, he played in a major tournament that was incidentally going on in the same town. He did well in this tournament and attained the rank of Life Master, the highest recognized level in that particular world.

He also remained in good physical condition, walking about a mile every day; and he enjoyed both serious and light fiction, movies and particularly comedy.

For about the last twenty years of his life Marcus participated actively in the First Presbyterian Church. Though he sang in the church choir for about three decades, he did not actually join the church until 1964. In fact he and Carol placed the children in the church well before they themselves joined! To a good degree because of the power of the Christian virtues of Love, Compassion, and Charity, which he saw exemplified in the actions of Niemoller, Bonhoffer, and some of the Sisters of Charity, he acquired a strong belief in the positive social and spiritual values of the church. For a decade or so, in the '70s and '80s he served the church as an elder and a trustee.

In the early 1980s Marcus developed Alzheimer's Disease. By November of 1983 the disease forced him to quit most of his projects and hobbies. This slowly progressive disease apparently ran its course rather quickly in his case, and he died in Santa Fe on May 25, 1986. May he rest in Peace.

After Marcus's death two reading rooms in Santa Fe were dedicated in his name. One is the reading room attached to the library in St. Vincent's Hospital. The other is the renovated and expanded reading room at the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe. The latter was formally dedicated in Marcus' name on June 14, 1987 by the Reverend James D. Brown. The dedication plaque reads as follows: Marcus Joel Smith (1918-1986) for whom this room is named was a physician, humanitarian, and choir member for three decades. His real, though not secret, love was the reading and writing of history. As an historian whose faith was stirred by the idea that the Church was truly an instrument of Christ's Compassion and Love, he became a familiar figure in the library. He was always ready with a smile and an anecdote, qualities which enhanced his serious concern for the realization of these ideas for all people.


3 boxes

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1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States