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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Robert Aaron Smith

I dedicate this post to a man larger than life. As his son stated, " he was like 10 people all rolled up into one, and 9 of them you really loved and admired." What he meant was.. most of Robert Aaron was quite admirable. I told my husband tonight one thing that I most remember about "Dr. Smith" was when you talked to him you had his full attention. He stared you right in the face and listened intently to what you had to say. He was my very first boss as a dental hygienist. I came to work for him when I was 20 years old. He was 34.. of course he might as well have been 60 to me. He was old as far as I was concerned. What a great dentist and boss he was. He was kind, fair, patient.. everything you want in a boss. However, he did have his problems- he tried many times to quit smoking. Our office manager would even lay a pack of cigarettes on his desk after several days of misery for him, but mostly for us!! He also had a problem with his drinking which plaqued him long after I worked for him. His family stuck by him though and he was able to lick this problem. The first time that I met Dr. Smith he came with one of my dad's friends to our house. I was a gangley 14-year old girl and he was 28. Even though he was old to me then, he was not too old for me to think he was the handsomest man I had ever seen. I did not know that six years later I would be working for him. I saw Dr. Smith about a year ago. He had to be housed in a nursing home because his needs became greater than what his wife could do to take care of him. This fantastic dentist developed Parkinson's Disease. But Dr. Smith continued to fight this fight just like he did on the football field, the basketball court or the baseball diamond in his high school and college years. My life was enriched by having known him. My heart is sad that he is gone, but I am also happy to know that he is no longer trapped in that frail body, but instead walking.. or should I say running on the streets of gold! I love you, Dr. Smith!!