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In Memory: Leo P. Smith

Leo Smith. Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe.

Social worker Leo P. Smith ran the  Caritas Good Samaritan Hospice outside Boston for years.

Then Smith found out he had terminal cancer, according to this obituary in the Boston Globe. But instead of withdrawing he used his condition to help train staff about working with the dying.

“He said, ‘You know, I think I should try to put some kind of seminar together and talk to my staff about what it’s like to be on this side of it. I think it might help them. There are certain things you don’t realize until you’re here,’ ” said his sister Maureen Sullivan. “He was thinking about how he might help others down the line.”

Smith, who was a National Association of Social Workers member, had a reputation for reaching out to diverse and underserved clients, including the homeless and immigrants. This caring attitude extended to his family — Smith made home-cooked meals for one of his sisters even as death neared.

 He passed away at his home on July 11.

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