Thursday, February 22, 2018

Stephen A Smith, MD 1941-2018

Stephen A. Smith, M.D. was born on May 25, 1941 and passed away peacefully on February 18, 2018.

Born in Portland, Oregon, to Esther and Addison Smith. Preceded in death by his parents and younger sister, Johanna. Survived by his loving wife, Teresa Maki; Children, Christine Spangler, Stephen Smith, Bradley Smith and stepsons, Mathew and Luke Jacobsen; and 12 grandchildren.
Dr. Smith was Medical Director, Neuromuscular Program, Gillette Children's Specialty Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was also Neuropathologist at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Senior Clinical Instructor, Neuromuscular Neurology, Children's Hospital Colorado Springs, Colorado; Consultant Child and Adult Neuromuscular Diseases, Parkview Medical Center, Pueblo, Colorado; and Neuromuscular Pathologist, Department of Pathology, Parkview Hospital, Pueblo, Colorado. His medical education and experiences span decades. Dr. Smith will be cremated per his wishes and a memorial service will take place in Pueblo, Colorado and Minnesota at a future date. In lieu of flowers; please send donations in memory of Dr. Stephen A. Smith to Teresa Maki at 150 W. Mangrum Ct., Pueblo West, CO., 81007.

Steve Smith was a perfectionist.  He performed and interpreted muscle and nerve biopsies and performed and interpreted electron microscopy on the specimens obtained with consummate skill and exactitude.  He was my faculty mentor during my pediatric neurology fellowship at the University of Minnesota 1981-1984.  Steve taught me these skills.  Unfortunately, his perfection could apparently not be taught.

Steve was a superlative clinician.  His focus of interest was in neuromuscular disease.  He was an astute observer and analyst.  Steve was quite easy going and personable.  Many neuromuscular patients and their families attest to how he addressed their anxieties and was able to give them strength to persevere. Steve had a ready smile and he was very affable with his colleagues.

Steve was active in his practice until he was taken from us by surprise.  In the realm of neuromuscular disease, he stood very tall in Minnesota.


  1. I am very sorry and very surprised to hear of Steve Smith's death - he was always the epitome of robust spirit and love of life that is completely incongruous with his now being gone. Having worked with Steve for decades, and learned many lessons along with him about neuromuscular disease and how to optimize distribution of care, I am certainly grateful for the time that we had together. After we both left Minnesota I would always enjoy seeing him at meetings and am sorry that his smiling face will no longer join us. My heart goes out to Teri and the rest of Steve's family, friends and colleagues.

    John Day

  2. I first met Steve as a child neurology fellow in his neuromuscular clinic and have had the privilege of working with Steve as a colleague at Gillette. We shared patients and visited about our Colorado connections. A gracious and thoughtful gentleman and physician. I am deeply saddened by his passing and am fortunate to have known him. I wish the very best to his family. Desiree Czapansky-Beilman (Minnesota)

  3. I am so saddened to hear of this wonderful man's passing. He was truly the best there is! We went through many years of tests and procedures to try and figure out what my son had. On a visit from Manhattan to Colorado Springs, 19 years agoDr. Smith went over my son's records and tests...walked in to the room and said...I'm pretty sure I know what it is but Ill need a biopsy to confirm. He did the biopsy himself and confirmed his suspicions of Mitochondrial Myopathy...putting years of tests and procedures behind us. He then biopsied and diagnosed me with the same. For the many years to follow he became the go-to for all of our other doctors because he was the only one that knew about this rare condition. He was so knowledgeable! I moved awaybut returned for visits and sought his knowledge. I have never found another Dr. Smithand never will. This is so devastating to hear. He will truly be missed by so many. My sincere condolences to his wife and family.

    Carol Avery

  4. It was such a pleasure to know and work with Steve over the years. Every patient we called about or referred became his personal interest. He was someone in whom we could have complete faith and trust. I hope he will be remembered, and that his wonderful impact will continue to be apparent.

    Richard Vehe

  5. I had the great privilege of working with and learning from Dr. Smith for many years as a young therapist and manager at Gillette Children's. The lessons he taught and wisdom he imparted transcended patient care, and helped create a culture of true understanding and caring among the neuromuscular community in the Twin Cities. Moreover, I was lucky enough to count Steve as a friend-and enjoyed a good glass of wine or two over the years. I'll miss him!

    Jason M Kelecic, PT, DPT, MBA