Chester E. Smith, 90, a physician who maintained a family practice in Chestnut Hill for more than five decades, died May 1 of complications from leukemia at his home in Chestnut Hill.
Dr. Smith practiced medicine well into his 80s from his office on East Willow Grove Avenue, even making house calls on patients who were on his homebound route.
An accomplished musician, he was both a pianist and singer. He sang bass in church choirs – for more than 30 years at St. Luke’s Church in Germantown and later at St. Timothy’s Church in Roxborough. He was for a number of years part of a barbershop quartet that performed at many venues in the Germantown area in the early 1950s.
He was raised in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia and graduated from Germantown High School. He served in the Army during World War II as a physician’s assistant and was stationed for a time at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C.
After his discharge, he attended what is now La Salle University on the GI Bill and, after graduation, joined the Philadelphia Water Department as a chemist. He received his medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and opened a family practice in 1959.
Dr. Smith remained active until the last year of his life, enjoying frequent walks in Morris Arboretum, weekly rounds of par-3 golf and attending performances of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Curtis Institute of Music.
He also enjoyed sailing and could often be found cruising on his sailboat with family and friends on Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey.
Dr. Smith’s wife of 31 years, the former Kathleen Henry, died in 1984.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 28, at the Bryn Gweled Community Center, 1805 Meadow Road, Southampton. Memorial donations may be made to the Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19103. – WF