The University Record, December 10, 1996

Obituary --- Ralph G. Smith

Ralph G. Smith, professor emeritus of environmental and industrial health at the School of Public Health, died Nov. 30 in Franklin, Mich. He was 76.

"Prof. Smith had a deep interest in education and a particular dedication to students," according to the Regents. "His able leadership was an important factor in the evolution of the School's Industrial Hygiene Program into one of the most outstanding in the country. He has given generously of himself and contributed greatly to the maintenance and growth of the U-M's excellent reputation in this field."

Smith's research focused on the general problems of air sampling and analysis, biological sampling and analysis, and occupational exposure to substances such as beryllium, lead, mercury and chlorine.

Born Jan. 11, 1920, in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, Smith became a U.S. citizen in 1940. He received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Wayne State University in 1942, and then served until 1946 as a meteorologist in the U.S. Air Force, rising from a private to the rank of captain. He received his master of science degree in analytical chemistry in 1949 and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1953, both from Wayne State University.

In 1955, Smith was appointed associate professor, Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, at Wayne State. He became professor and assistant chair of the department in 1963, and acting chair in 1967. He joined the U-M as professor of environmental and industrial health in 1970 and retired in 1985.

Throughout his career, Smith was active in numerous professional societies. He also was the author of more than 70 scientific papers and contributed to numerous books.

Smith is survived by his wife, Margarita; daughters, Judi McCallum and Linda Mohrhardt; and sons, Larry, Dan, Jerry and Tom. The funeral was held Dec. 4. Memorial contributions may be sent to the Franklin (Mich.) Community Church or the Ralph G. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund, School of Public Health, U-M. They also may be sent to the AIHF-R.G. Smith Memorial, in care of Meg Ramey, American Industrial Hygiene Association, 2700 Prosperity Ave., #250, Fairfax, VA 22031.