The Living Church

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The Living ChurchSeptember 21, 1997Bishop Smith Dies 215(12) p. 7

Bishop Smith Dies
He Presided in Iowa During Time of Strong Growth

The Rt. Rev. Gordon V Smith, sixth Bishop of Iowa, died Aug. 27 of prostate cancer in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., where he resided. He was 91.

Bishop Smith was born in Kalamazoo, Mich., and graduated from Kalamazoo College. He was ordained deacon and priest in 1931, and began his ordained ministry as priest-in-charge of Grace Church, Albion, Mich., a position he held until 1935. He was rector of Grace Church, Ponca City, Okla., from 1935 to 1943, then he moved to Iowa as rector of St. Paul's, Des Moines. He was consecrated Bishop of Iowa in 1950, and remained in that ministry for 21 years. He presided over a time of nearly unprecedented growth in the Diocese of Iowa, and built a firm financial base for it which still stands. He also was a member of the national Executive Council for six years.

Surviving are his wife, Florence, two sons, Gordon and Henry, and four daughters, Melinda Heiberg, Diane Wallace, Joan Meyers and Linda Wallace-Gray, 21 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.