Obituary for Dr. Martin J. Smith

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Dr. Martin J. Smith, 84, of La Crosse passed away Sunday, July 29, 2018 at his home. He was born to Richard and Marilyn (Bernard) Smith on May 21, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York.
He graduated from Long Beach High School, from Hofstra College in Hempstead, New York, and from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University in 1959 with an M.D. degree. Postdoctoral training included internship and residency in internal medicine (1959-1961) at Methodist Hospital of Brooklyn, New York, residency in internal medicine at Montefiore (N.Y.) Hospital (1963-1964), and clinical and research fellow (hematology) at Massachusetts General Hospital and research fellow of Harvard College (1964-1966).
From 1961 to 1963 he served his country in the United States Naval Reserve as a medical officer at the U.S. Naval Academy following which he spent eighteen years in the Ready Reserve, retiring as a Captain in 1981.
Martin joined the staff of Gundersen Clinic and La Crosse Lutheran Hospital in 1966 as the first hematologist in La Crosse. From 1971 to 1973 he served as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine and from 1973 to 1996 as Director of Clinical Laboratories at both Gundersen Clinic and Lutheran Hospital. Martin was Director of Research at the Gundersen Medical Foundation from 1975 to 1988. He retired in February 1999 after seeing his last patient in December 1998.
Martin achieved specialty board certifications in internal medicine, hematology, clinical pathology, and immunopathology. He was elected Fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the College of American Pathologists. He was listed in Who's Who in Science and Engineering, in Medicine and Health Care, in America, and in the World.
Martin married Joyce Gleason in 1960. They divorced in 1968. In 1972 he married Ruby Stenslien, his love and support for 41 years. Ruby died on November 16, 2013.
Martin is survived by his wife, Karol Smith, whom he married on October 16, 2016; daughter, Danielle (Richard) Zoerb; sons, Robert (Angela) Smith and Alexander (Nissa) Smith; stepdaughter, Gwendolyn (Robert) Pangburn; stepson, Dennis Stenslien; and his brother, Robert (Rita) Smith.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and his step-son, Kevin Stenslien.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at Dickinson Family Funeral Home, 1425 Jackson Street, La Crosse. Rabbi Simcha Prombaum will officiate and burial with Military Honors will be in Oak Grove Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until time of service.
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorials are encouraged to Congregation Sons of Abraham, 1820 Main Street, La Crosse; Gundersen Medical Foundation, 1836 South Avenue, La Crosse; or a charity of your choice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at