Clifford C. Smith M.D.

Born: Thu., Jul. 30, 1925
Died: Wed., May 11, 2011


2:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Sun., May 15, 2011
Location: Garrity Funeral Home

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, Mon., May 16, 2011
Location: MFL Mar-Mac McGregor Center

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Mon., May 16, 2011
Location: MFL Mar-Mac McGregor Center

Print Obituary   Home Page All Obituaries

Clifford C. Smith M.D. age 85 of Prairie du Chien passed away Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at the Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital. He was born July 30, 1925,the only son, and first of four children, to his parents Clifford Clay Smith 
and Lee Russell Smith in Waterloo, IA. He graduated from East High School, and 
completed one year of college before he entered the U. S. Army Air 
Corp. Dr. Smith of Prairie du Chien, known to many as “Doc,” 
was widely respected for his compassion as a rural physician for over 
40 years. It is a little known fact, however, that Dr. Smith was a 
member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. He entered the Army in 1943 and initially 
drove a 2-1/2 ton truck called a “deuce and a half.” The young 
soldier learned that black men were being trained as pilots and 
submitted an application for flight school.  More than a year had 
passed without having received word from the flight school, when 
Smith happened to find himself in the adjutant’s office where he 
knew the applications were filed. He found his application at the 
bottom of a pile and moved it to the top. Shortly afterward, he 
received notice of acceptance to flight school, and in 1945, joined 
the ranks of other African American cadets being trained to become 
World War II pilots. Although Smith’s favorite plane was the B-25 
Mitchell bomber aircraft, he was assigned the Steerman biplane. In 
only three months Smith mastered the Steerman, and qualified to fly 
the AT-6 and multi-engine aircrafts. That achievement earned the 
young pilot his notoriety among the ranks as the “90-day wonder” 
in the class of ’46.
Dr. Smith returned to civilian life as a student at the University of 
Iowa. Following graduation, he attended Meharry Medical College in 
Nashville, interned in Binghamton, NY and became the first African 
American medical resident at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital 
in Iowa City. He began private practice with his mother-in-law, Dr. 
Laura B. Harris, in Jersey City, NJ, where he became the first 
African American emergency room director at the Jersey City Medical 
Center. Nearly five years later, the young doctor with his wife and 
two children moved from Jersey City to McGregor, Iowa. In 1998, Dr. 
Smith was named National Rural Health Practitioner of the Year. He 
was presented the University of Iowa Alumni Award in 2005.
Dr. Smith chose this area to establish his practice at the McGregor 
Hospital. A year later, he moved his office to 626 Main Street in 
McGregor. His courage never wavered, even when his initial years were 
lean. His practice flourished. When fire razed the modest two-story 
house that Dr. Smith converted into his first clinic, a new clinic 
was built in 1979 on adjacent property that, in the winter in 1967, 
he had transformed into a community ice-skating rink. Dr. Smith’s 
patients were devoted to him, not only because he was a gifted 
internist, but because of his great compassion. Dr. Smith would 
accept bartering in exchange for patient care when a patient could 
not afford to pay. He was known to accept items he didn’t 
necessarily need in order to allow the patient to feel satisfied 
about their debt.
For the first twenty-five years of his 41-year career in Iowa and 
Wisconsin, Dr. Smith practiced independently as an internal and 
family medicine physician. He also served for a number of years as 
the Medical Examiner for Clayton County Iowa. In 1987 Smith began his 
affiliation with Gundersen Lutheran of LaCrosse, and continued to 
serve the communities of Northeast Iowa and Southwest Wisconsin until 
his retirement in 2003.  Dr. Smith was a member of Prairie du Chien 
Memorial Hospital’s active medical staff for 36 years serving on 
committees such as safety, credentials, utilization review, quality 
assurance, and as Chief of Staff. For several years following his 
retirement, Dr. Smith served as Medical Director of Prairie Maison 
Nursing Home in Prairie du Chien.
Dr. Smith is survived by his wife Pat of Prairie du Chien, two children from his first marriage to Jacquelyn H. Smith: Shelley Smith of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin; and Clay (Rozalyn) Smith of Port Jefferson Station, NY; four grandchildren, two 
surviving sisters, Betty (Billy) Lawton of Washington D.C. and Deanna Smith-Johnson of Tacoma Park, MD and their families, one brother-in-law, and a 
number of nieces and nephews. His parents and a sister Yvonne Simms preceded him in death.

Funeral services will be Monday, May 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM at the MFL Mar-Mac McGregor Center Gymnasium in McGregor, IA with Rev. William Gentry officiating. The American Legion Post 108 of McGregor will accord military rites following the service. Interment will be in the Garden of Memories, Waterloo, IA on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM. Friends may call after 2:00 PM on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at the Garrity Funeral Home in Prairie du Chien and one hour prior to services on Monday, May 16, 2011 at the MFL Mar-Mac McGregor Center.

Click to send flowers using our local area florist
Free delivery to our funeral home & save on wire fees
View/Sign the Condolence Book

Click the button to generate a printable document containing all condolences submitted

Condolence Booklet

Sallee A. Scarff-Muehlbauer
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
Shelly my sweet friend we are so sorry for the loss of you dad for the second time. God bless. We love you. Sallee and Joe Muehlbauer

kris farnsworth
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
Dr Smith was a wonderful doctor and ALWAYS had a smile on his face. He taught me that a doctor is a friend and I carry that with me every day.

Nancy (Scarff) Foote
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
So sorry to hear of Doc''s passing. His death is the end of a chapter in many lives. Your father was so instrumental in my life. He took the time to listen to my problems and offer advise and experiences from his life. Even though I would come to him for a physical complaint, he treated my emotional needs too. He was like a kind friend who let me know that in the end all would be well. I desperately needed that growing up. You have my deepest sympathy. Nancy (Scarff) Foote

Carolyn Coon
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
To All of Dr. Smith''s family
Words are never adequate at a time like this but do know that Doc touch many, many lives. He never failed to greet you whenever he met you... and then there was that twinkle in his eye so you never knew what might come after his ''hi''.
He is a peace now.

Wendy Vanderbilt
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
To the family of Dr. Smith, especially Shelley...Our sincere condolences..Your Dad was an amazing man..Despite his situation these past few years, he remained an inspiration, a man of great resolve and someone to learn so much from..
I feel fortunate to have known him, if only for 12 years. A man of great intelligence, who made common people feel special. I will treasure each and every memory, I have of this special man and his family. Please take comfort in the thoughts and prayers of so many in our area, who were touched by Dr. Smith.
Our deepest sympathy, Wendy and Charlie Vanderbilt

Dr. WilliaM Joseph Moore
   Posted Thu May 12, 2011
Shelly and Family, we send you our love and condolence in your moment of great loss. May he rest in peace with the lord.

Deborah Whitfield-Small
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Dear Shelley,

We all grieve with you and Clay on the loss of your Dad. I still remember what a striking presence he made when he ventured to New York for your graduation. Take comfort in knowing that YOU kept him going. Be well,

Love, Deborah, Rick, Brooke & Penelope

Lyle Ernst
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Dear Shelly,

I''m so very sorry for your loss. Your father was the best. This world would be a much better place with more people like him.


Kathy Doyle
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Dr. Smith was a wonderful caring person and Dr. He took great care with my children and myself. I can remember calling him at home on a Sunday afternoon or late evenings for help with my kids. I do appreciate all the things he did for us. We were very lucky to have him here. We are so very sorry for your loss.

Delores Burrington
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
My husband, Terry, and myself were both patients of Dr. Smith while we lived in Prairie du Chien. I worked at the hospital with him also. He was a most remarkable man. His patience and caring showed in everything he did. When you were in his office, it was as tho you were the only patient he had to see that day. There are many good doctors but few match Dr. Smith as a gentle man and a gentleman.

Joanne Venter, Monona
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Family of "DOC"
Dr. Smith was one of a kind who was a caring and remarkable man who make our family feel like we were so special sitting in his office, and being next to see this gentle man, who was the best as a Dr. and friend. I can''t find enough adjectives to describe this truly wonderful person! Take Care! God Bless from the Venters.

Ellen Corlett
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Dr. Smith was such a caring man who always found time to squeeze you in when needed. He was a living example of how medical professionals should conduct themselves and will be missed. A very remarkable man and your family has my sympathy at this difficult time.

Jodi & Charles Cook
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Dr. Smith was one of a kind!! He was my doctor as a child and I have never found another like him in the 28 years that life moved me away from the area!!! He will always have a warm place in my heart. May our Lord comfort you as you grieve the loss of a truly compassionate person and doctor!!!

Bette Beneker
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Our thoughts and prayers are with and your family.
Doc was a wonderful caring person who helped so many people. Kind,thoughtful and gentle man.
Doc will always be with you in spirit and will live in your heart forever.

Mary Burrack Torres
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
To The Smith family: My deepest sympathy in the passing of Doc. What a Great man. When he opened his office in McGregor, I was just a teenager and I can still see him coming down the hall , starched white lab coat and his cowboy boots clicking on the harwood floor. Usually a long wait, but once in the back examing rooms, time was of no essence. He will be missed by many.

Joan (Burrack) Walke
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
To the Family of Dr. Smith
My deepest sympathy to all of you in your time of loss of this wonderful man. I was a patient as was my father and younger sister. Doc always had time to visit and listen to what you had to say. He was so caring and would make a house call, if absolutely necessary. He delivered our second daughter and when I took her in for her preschool checkup I asked Doc, "Are you sure she is a girl". She was such a tomboy and he just laughed and laughed and told me those types are very interesting to watch grow. God bless you during this difficult time. Dr. Smith was "One of a Kind". Joan Walke

Pat Dagnon
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
I knew Dr Smith well and he was a wonderful caring person that always thought of everyone. His smile will be missed by the hospital staff.
My sympathy extends to his family and all the friends that he touched with
his kindness.

Phil and Pat Dagnon..

Audra Hallberg
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
I always have very fond memories of Dr Smith. I used to run around in his office when my mom (Cathi Corlett) worked for him.
He was truly an amazing man & Dr and is greatly missed.

Audra Hallberg

Rodney and Valerie Richardson
   Posted Fri May 13, 2011
Doc will sadly be missed , our thoughts and prayers are with the family,and friends again will sadly be missed.. Doc touched alot of people with in many different ways.

Lois Puckett
   Posted Sat May 14, 2011
The memories of Dr. Smith will live forever in the hearts of all who knew him. He was our "Doc" for years and knew the kids by name. He showed empathy for all his patients. To say he was incredibly awesome doesn''t even come close to describing him. Our sympathys to the Family.

Linda Dohse Caspersen
   Posted Sat May 14, 2011
So sorry to hear about your Dad. I remember when your family moved to McGregor, I was a young girl. I broke my arm and my mom took me to Dr. Smith and he was my doctor until I moved away in 1975. He delivered my son 38 years ago. What a wonderful Doctor. I will always remember him fondly. He was such a great asset to McGregor. He will be greatly missed.

Betty Brown
   Posted Sat May 14, 2011
Dear Shelley,

I am so sorry to hear of your Dads death. I have been so inspired by the care
and devotion, and most of all, the love, you have demonstrated over all these
many months for your father. I''''m convinced that loyalty will bring you
the strength and Peace you so justly deserve at this time.
Love, your cousin, Betty

Jerry Steele & family
   Posted Sun May 15, 2011
To the family of Dr. Smith: Please accept our deepest sympathy in your time of
loss. We were proud to tell people he was our doctor as well as our friend. His compassion, kindness & smiling face will be greatly missed. He helped so many
& asked so little, he is & will remain in our hearts forever. To the family thank you
for sharing him with us & the long old friend, rest in peace...
the Steele family

James Stave
   Posted Sun May 15, 2011
Dear Shelley,
I am very saddened by the news of your father''s passing. It is very touching to read the loving remembrances of your father''s many patients and friends in the McGregor area, a tribute to the high esteem your father held in the lives of so many. You know my thoughts are with you.
Love, Jim

Linda Noack
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
Shelly, I am so sorry about your father. I don''t think there was a better Dr.
than him. He delivered Jeff (and I know you know my son from the main) and
he was just wonderful. I remember when I went into labor and when he got to
the hospital, he wanted to check to see how far I had dialated and he broke
my water and he said Oh shit, I didn''t want to do that! So we had a good laugh about that. A GREAT Man who was loved by all. Linda Noack
(Jeffs Mom)

Mary Lou Hattery
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
We send you our sympathy and condolences. Mary Lou and Don Hattery.
I think of a poem that was sent to me:

I wish you enough sun to keep your day bright
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess
I wish you enough Hellos to get you through the final good bye
I wish you enough.

Dr and Mrs Patrick Lorenz
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
Dear Pat (and family),
I hope it comforts you to know others care and share your sorrow...
you are, right now, in my thoughts and prayers. I will stop by for a visit soon.
In neighborly love, Pat and Donna (and Chloe)

Angela Moody
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
I was so saddened to hear of your dad''s passing. I''ve shared with you a couple of stories and those I will hold dear to my heart. One of my favorite memories though would be that whenever we would start out on a horseback ride, we always stopped at Doc''s first. He was just up and over the hill behind our house. Many times he would be out in the barn or would come out when he would see us ride up. I cannot tell you how many hours were spent just chatting away, Doc leaning on the hitchin post and us sitting on the horses, listening-that was most important. It amazed me that he was the same man who was my doctor in the doctor''s office. And with the same serious, "tell it like it is" look from over his glasses, he''d send us on our way. An amazing man, an amazing legacy - my thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.

Justine Peloch, RN
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
I am so sorry for your loss. Doc will be greatly missed. He was a wonderful man that I got to know and love. If you ever need anything let me know.

Jane Staebler
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
Dear family of Dr. Smith,
I just learned of Dr. Smith''s death and my heartfelt sympathy goes to all of you. I met Dr. Smith when I was a pharmaceutical representative in 1989. I so enjoyed our visits and I learned so much from him. I had a great deal of respect for his knowledge.
You have my sympathy. He was a great man.

Thad Schlueter
   Posted Mon May 16, 2011
So sorry to her about your lose of your of your dad, He was well loved by alot of peaple,Shelly your dad was awsome. Loved being around him groing up.. thad

Charles Hayden
   Posted Tue May 17, 2011

Having recently lost my mother, who ironically was the same age as your Dad and had a similar spirit, I perhaps have a slightly different perspective than many. Our parents lived their respective lives on their own terms. As you know, this past Saturday I had a Memorial Service for my mother and a friend whose father-in-law was in the same nursing home for four years and who would visit frequently with my mother spoke. He read these words from "My Way" a song made famous by Frank Sinatra that I think may describe your father, too:

And now, the end is near,
And so I face the final curtain.
My friends, I''ll say it clear;
I''ll state my case of which I''m certain.

I''ve lived a life that''s full -
I''ve travelled each and every highway.
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets? I''ve had a few,
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

I planned each charted course -
Each careful step along the byway,
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Yes, there were times, I''m sure you knew,
When I bit off more than I could chew,
But through it all, when there was doubt,
I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way.

I''ve loved, I''ve laughed and cried,
I''ve had my fill - my share of losing.
But now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that,
And may I say, not in a shy way -
Oh no. Oh no, not me.
I did it my way.

For what is a man? What has he got?
If not himself - Then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.

Yes, it was my way.

Shelley, I am always here for you whenever you need me.

Norma Asleson
   Posted Tue May 17, 2011
Dr.Smith delived our son 44 yrs ago last April.Never did i see Dr.Smith anywhere, even after he retired, that he did not ask how Rich and his family was doing.He remembered everyone. We too will always love and remember him.The funeral was a great send off for "Doc". I''m glad we attended.

Ellen Boom
   Posted Tue May 17, 2011
Shelley -

Again, our sympathy to you and your family. Doc was such a good friend and our family doctor for many years. Our daughter, Shelley, was nicknamed in honor of your dad - I purchase one of his favorite bits from him about seven years ago - hangs on our wall - - I''m sure he is in heaven, along with good friend, Jim - brushing ''ol Scandle - talking horses! RIP, Doc. It was an honor to be your patient(s), and friend!!!!

Diana Ayers Van Nice
   Posted Thu May 19, 2011
To the Smith family, Dr. Smith will greatly missed what a sad time. he took care of my dad till the end of his passing,Dr. Smith was a blessing to the community

Michele (Marting) McFarland
   Posted Thu May 19, 2011
Shelley and Clay - I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. I hope you are able to gain a sense of peace within, I hope you are able to gain strength from those around you, I wish you comfort at this most difficult time. I hope with each passing day, your heart will become lighter. Your dad touched SOOOOO many lives - he will be greatly missed - but never forgotten. I am ever so glad that you and your family were such a part of my life - and how those memories are cherished. Now and always, to infinity and beyond, I wish you only the best.

Mary Meinking Chambers
   Posted Sat May 21, 2011
I''m sorry for your father''s passing.
I heard his life story on the news and thought his story would make a nice children''s book. I''m a children''s book author and if you''re interested, please contact me.
Mary Meinking

Sharon Specht
   Posted Thu May 26, 2011
To the Smith family,
Although I don''t know any of you personally I sympathize with your loss. Dr. Smith was the one person I knew who seemed to pass on the true spirit of Christ, whatever his religious beliefs were. The personal one on one expression of caring no matter who you were; the willingness to just slow down in a busy life and connect to someone who was experiencing a problem is sadly, too uncommon.
He will live forever in our memories.

Image: Tom Curtis /

Copyright © 2016 Garrity Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved.    | Website by CFS |