Andrew G. Smith, 86, microbiology professor at UM medical school

September 09, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Andrew George Smith, who taught microbiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, died of an infection and complications from Alzheimer's disease Sept. 2 at Joseph Richey Hospice. The Ellicott City resident was 86.

Dr. Smith was born in Williamsport, Pa., and he earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology and chemistry at Pennsylvania State College at State College, Pa.

He worked in a dairy and in Philadelphia pharmaceutical laboratories before joining the Marine Corps. During World War II, he participated in the invasions of Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima, where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He rose to the rank of lieutenant.

After his discharge, he earned master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1950, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland medical school. He held professorships in the departments of microbiology, pathology, medical technology and dermatology, and taught courses to medical technologists.

He retired in 1995 as director of the microbiology division at University of Maryland Medical Center's laboratories.

Dr. Smith was an expert in molds and yeast that cause disease, a discipline known as mycology.

Friends said he created a collection of microscopic slides and scientific photos housed at the medical school.

"His collection is still being used as teaching aids," said Dr. Merrill J. Snyder, a retired colleague and professor emeritus of medicine. "He spent a lot of time creating a meticulous catalog of his work that enables others to use it. He was a good, well-liked teacher who always started his lectures with a joke. It put him and his students at ease."

Friends said his ability to catalog extended to his personal life. He would join friends for lunch at a downtown restaurant and kept a notebook in his pocket to indicate if it were his turn to pick up the bill. When, after a long absence, he met friends at Bookbinders in Philadelphia and consulted the booklet, saying, "Let's see whose turn it is to pay."

He organized many photo albums of family and friends, to which he would add wedding and graduation notices, and obituaries.

Dr. Smith was the author of numerous scientific publications and belonged to professional organizations including the American Society of Microbiology and American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He was a former president and officer of the Fourth Marine Division Association.

Services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 3695 Rogers Ave., Ellicott City, where he was a communicant.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, the former Lucy Eason; two daughters, Eileen Smith of Albany, Calif., and Diane Kownacki of Herndon, Va.; two granddaughters; and a great-grandson.

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