Laurence Cortelyou Smith, Jr., husband of Debra Smith, was born in Canaan, Connecticut on November 4, 1934, to Loretta Donsbough Smith and Laurence C. Smith. He died after a lengthy battle with cancer on January 25, 2019 in Arvada, Colorado. He was a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Denver and Cedaredge, Colorado and San Antonio, Texas for over 50 years. Laurence (“Larry” or “Topper”) received his B.A. degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and his Master’s and Doctorate from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Larry joined the Air Force in 1961 and relocated to San Antonio, Texas. While there, Larry was commissioned to Brook’s Air Force base and worked closely with the NASA astronaut selection program for the selection of the Apollo and Gemini astronauts. He was also stationed at Lackland Air Force Base where he was on the psychological team at Wilford Hall who was assigned to screen airmen to determine their eligibility for assignment to nuclear aircraft. He was president of the Texas Psychological Association (TPA) and helped to develop the licensure requirements for Clinical Psychologists in Texas; he holds the first license issued for Clinical Psychologists in that state. He touched the lives of so many people in his profession and was loved by many.
Larry loved most sports and was an avid ski racer and basketball player, both of which he engaged in for his entire life. He was inducted to the Housatonic Valley Regional High School Hall of fame in 2014. He was a Senior Olympics silver medalist in the Giant Slalom and was a Senior Olympian in Basketball. He played with the same basketball team, “Over the Rim”, for 21 years (1993-2014).
He was a lover of wildlife, nature, writing and traveling. He had published a book, The Nature of Human Feelings, and believed his life’s work would live on through his writings. He has a website dedicated to his written poetry that is translated into both Spanish and French. He had traveled all over the world in his life including China, Thailand, Hungary & Italy. He especially loved Saint Martin and the Caribbean and spent several weeks a year there sharing his love with the people native to the Caribbean islands.
Larry loved his family and considered his children some of the greatest accomplishments in his life. Larry was predeceased by his mother and father and great-grandson Jonathan Brown. He is survived by his wife Debra Smith; his former wife Mary Smith; his brother Peter (Agneta), New Canaan, CT; his children, Deborah Smith (Longmont, CO); Dion Turner (Kim), New Braunfels, TX; Pamela Wacha (Dennis), Berthoud, CO; Theresa Voltmann (Tim), Westfield, NY; Laurence Smith (Amy), Durango, CO; Michelle McHugh (Joe), Ft. Collins, CO; Laurie Balliett, Taos, NM; Christopher Smith (Melissa) Arvada, CO; Heather Holbrook (John), Suwanee, GA; Brandon Gray, (Jennifer) Loganville, GA. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. He will be remembered, missed and loved by all of us who he leaves behind.