Dr. Jan Daniel Smith, of Providence Point, died on September 6, 2019, from Interstitial Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was the elder son of Daniel Stefanus Smith and Christina Johanna (Nel), born on February 6, 1939 in Pretoria, South Africa. Survived by his beloved wife of 56 years, Jeanette Niemeyer Smith, and three children, Robert (Kathryn Van Stone), Andrew (Sandra Espinosa), and Anita (Andrew Murray) and ten adored grandchildren, Francisco Smith, Juan Pablo Smith, Dominic Smith, Anthony Smith, Jonah Murray, Luke Murray, Betsy Murray, Rachel Murray, Naomi Murray and the late José Maria Smith. He is also survived by his brother Sydney (Liesje), Costa Rican exchange student "daughter" Marisa (Macho), and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jan graduated medical school from the University of Pretoria in 1961 at the age of 22. He interned at McCord Zulu Hospital in Durban. He came to the USA in 1964 and specialized in Anesthesia, Critical Care, Lung Diseases and Internal Medicine. He was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, London, and earned a diploma from the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London. His entire career was in academia, and he belonged to many national and international medical societies. Jan volunteered with PEPFAR (against AIDS) in Southern Africa and Tanzania. He helped establish a transplant hospital in Palermo, Sicily, and “failed retirement” with a year as medical director of Beacon Hospital in Ireland. He is honored by the Jan D. Smith classroom at UPMC, for his contributions to both Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine.
Peripatetic by nature, Jan traveled many countries of the world with Jeanette by his side, often on extended cruises, and had circumnavigated the globe three times. But his favorite place was his beloved South Africa and especially trips to Kruger Park with extended family, to view the animals in the wild. He was always ready to play board games, joke with the children and have deep discussions over a glass of wine or whisky. Jan was an active member of the community wherever he lived, be it Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, ham radio operating, handbell ringing, and church. He was a man of extreme generosity, high standards and always tried to do the right thing. He was a world citizen and mentor to many. Jan was highly respected and will be much missed.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 28th at 11 am at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA to celebrate Jan’s life. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the endowed scholarship that he created, BHS Dining Services Staff Scholarship, which yearly provides two employees $1,000 each toward their post-high school education. It is managed by the Baptist Home Foundation, 500 Providence Point Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15243.
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