Hugh Smith
Hugh Smith

Obituary of Hugh Allen Smith

It is with sadness that we announce the death of Hugh Allen Smith, MD on February 18, 2023.  Born to Helen and Harold Smith in Melrose Park, IL on October 7, 1927, his long life was filled with love, family, and adventure. He grew up in IL, attended the University of IL and served in the US Army in El Paso, TX. He attended Northwestern University Medical School where he met his beautiful wife of 72 years, Jane Ellen Cotts Smith. They were married in Chicago, July 21, 1950. Dr. Smith was an obstetrician and gynecologist who helped bring more than 6,000 babies into this world.

Hugh and Jane started life together in Chicago where he worked at the Chicago Maternity Center. Later, they lived in Wichita, KS, where he served as a captain in the US Air Force, Greeley, CO, where he worked at Weld County Hospital, and Elmhurst, IL, where the bulk of his Broadview-based practice was at Westlake Community Hospital.  After enjoying Tucson as “snowbirds,” they relocated full time in 1997.

Over the years, Hugh took his family on amazing adventures, including rafting the Colorado River, driving the Alcan Highway to Alaska, and crossing the Kansas prairie in a covered wagon. He was proud of his ability to send his four children to college and expand that education with diverse travel and cultural experiences.  Hugh and Jane traveled the world, always making a point to learn about the people and places they visited. They hiked Machu Picchu and the Milford Track, snorkeled at the Galapagos Islands, explored the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and “cruised” the Hebrides Islands on a converted fishing boat, to name just a few of their remarkable trips.

As a volunteer, Dr. Smith touched many lives through Rotary Club and the Stephen Ministry. He shared his gift of music singing in his church choir and entertaining his family with a terrific repertoire of silly songs. He is remembered by his friends, family, and caregivers for his abiding interest in them as people, as well as his storytelling and boundless sense of humor, things he passed down through the generations.

Hugh and Jane “adopted” a cabin at the YMCA of the Rockies (Estes Park, CO), a place they each visited with their families as children. They shared their love of the Rocky Mountains with their children, continuing the tradition of staying at the Y, gathering with their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren for family reunions. Hugh and Jane attended the most recent family reunion in July of 2022. Their cabin, Ghostrider (named for “their” song), served as a summer home where they enjoyed visits with friends and family.

Hugh is survived by his wife Jane Ellen Cotts Smith; children Gerritt Smith (Debra),  Lisa Fox (Darrell), Kimberly Otero (Walter), and Wendy Meluch (Ray); grandchildren, Andy Smith (Marina), Ryan Smith (Christine), Gabriel Smith (Ashley), Abigail Fox (Nick), Benjamin Fox (Gabrielle), AnnaRose Otero Colvert (Dustin), Allen Otero, Beata Meluch, Forrest Meluch, Suzanne Cox (Josh), Brett Winger (Bridget), Scott Otero, and Raymond Otero; 22 great grandchildren; sister, Marilyn Steele (Howard); and brother-in-law, William Cotts, MD. He is predeceased by daughter-in-law, Sara Ann Smith, and grandson Mark Damon Otero.

Hugh (“that’s Hug, with an H”) is greatly missed. As he would say, “Have a good day and that’s an order not a suggestion!” A service will be held at Casas Adobes Congregational Church located at 6801 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson AZ on Tuesday, March 21, 2023 from 11:00 to 12:00. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the YMCA of the Rockies, chapel programs or Dorsey Museum, or the Casas Adobe Congregational Church music program.

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Service for Hugh Allen Smith

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Casas Adobes Congregational Church
6801 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona, United States
(520) 297-1181
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