Gerald Walker Smith
July 23, 1930-July 21, 2023
Gerald Walker Smith (Jerry), beloved husband of Joyce Hanna Smith, died peacefully at home in Atherton, surrounded by his family.
Born in Annapolis, Maryland, Jerry received his undergraduate degree at Stanford University, where he played varsity water polo. After completing his MBA at Stanford and working at IBM and Bechtel Corporation, Jerry studied for three years at the Pacific School of Religion, an interdenominational seminary in Berkeley, California. During the course of his studies, his experience at an internship where he counseled inmates at San Quentin Prison led him to decide to pursue a career in counseling. After completing his doctorate in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, Jerry held a practice in San Mateo County, counseling clients for over 60 years. The author of two books, Couples Therapy and Hidden Meanings, Jerry also led workshops for couples at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California for over 50 years. Jerry’s talk show Talk it Over aired more than 250 programs on Channel 5 and the Westinghouse Network during the 1970s. Jerry also worked with San Mateo County Mental Services offering pastoral counseling consultations to clergymen, and served as a conflict management consultant at local businesses.
Jerry cherished his nearly 40-year relationship with his wife Joyce and had a deep commitment to his children and grandchildren. Authentically curious and caring about others, Jerry truly enjoyed connecting with the people he came across in his day-to-day life and cultivated many long and deep friendships. Jerry was an avid golfer and open-water swimmer, completing many Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz swims, and was actively involved in the South End Rowing Club in San Francisco. A spirited, authentic, and caring man who truly engaged with the people around him, Jerry will be keenly missed. He is survived by his wife Joyce Hanna Smith, his sons Andy Smith and Martin Smith, his daughters-in-law Ellery Smith and Pat Toth-Smith, his stepdaughters Kristine Hanna and Katie Dickson and son-in-law Tom Dickson, his sister-in-law Sheridan Adams, his brother-in-law Jeff Kitzes, his sister Gaye Johnson, and his six grandchildren Quinn, Cole, Alia, Ally, Sam, and Ben. A service will be held in Atherton for family and close friends.