Colby Eagles Alumni Association
Copyright Colby Eagles Alumni Association @ 2014
Floyd L Smith, Jr. M.D.
Class of 1938

Nominated by Sue Smith Evans, 1967
Floyd, born and raised in Colby, is part of a family of Colby graduates that spans four generations and more than 100 years. Floyd graduated from CCHS in 1938 and enrolled at the University of Kansas. What began as a typical, fun-filled college career in Lawrence majoring
in premed changed dramatically when World War II began. Badly in
need of doctors, the US military offered assistance to premed students
who would agree to accelerated medical schooling and internship on
a year round basis. Following completion of his internship, he was
commissioned as a first lieutenant in the US Army. His army career
was spent primarily on ships, treating wounded soldiers and even
performing surgery on “floating hospitals.” He crossed the Atlantic
Ocean several times and the Pacific Ocean once, arriving back in San
Francisco just as the war came to an end. Although he saw many
interesting places abroad, he always knew that he would return to his
home on the plains of western Kansas.

Following his discharge from the Army in 1946, he went to work in a clinic in Hays with Dr. Murray Eddy. He became enchanted with a young nurse at the hospital, Mary Ballinger, who had also been drawn into the medical field during the war as part of the military need for medical services. He used to tell his children with a bit of a wink that he met their mother when he pretended to accidentally trip her while she was carrying a tray down the hall at the hospital. They were married in 1948 and settled back in Colby where they still reside. Floyd joined the Colby Clinic with Dr. George Marshall where he practiced until his retirement in 1983. He served as the first president of the Kansas chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians and on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Medical Society. 

Being a family physician meant, among other things, delivering babies. “Doc,” as he is called by many, estimated that he delivered over 2,700 babies during his career, in many cases delivering babies of mothers he had delivered many years earlier. Up until the last few years of his practice he also made house calls for those unable to make it to the clinic or the hospital.  He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting and fishing—but not the ordinary way. He tied his own flies and loaded his own shells which he used in old single shot rifles. He
enjoyed hiking and camping with the family and with his Boy Scout troop. Floyd earned scouting awards including the Order of the Arrow and the Silver Beaver award, the highest award given to Boy Scout leaders. Collections of stamps, coins and guns filled his house. Floyd was an avid gardener and arborist, planting 100s of trees on his farmland northwest of Colby. He is a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church of Colby and served the community through Rotary Club and service on the Colby School Board of Education and the
Colby Community College Board of Trustees.  With his wife Mary he raised a family of five children in Colby. His extended family now includes 9 grandchildren and one great grandchild.