Obituaries » Quentin P. Smith
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August 27, 1952 - November 12, 2020
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Quentin Smith was a professor, a philosopher, a father, and an artist. In every aspect of his life, Quentin Smith embodied what it meant to be a philosopher. As a renaissance man, his fascination for philosophy was rivalled by his passion for artwork and poetry. Quentin was a light-hearted man who never hesitated to interject a bit of humor into the most profound philosophical discussions. A man of exceptional ability, Quentin Smith earned a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Antioch College and Harvard University, a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy from Boston College. Prior to joining Western Michigan University, he distinguished himself as an assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Kentucky, a visiting scholar at Purdue University and Case Western Reserve University, and the Lillian Pierson Lovelace Visiting Professor of Antioch College. During his illustrious Western Michigan University career, Quentin Smith has shared his experience and expertise with countless students for 23 years. A dedicated educator, he compiled a legacy of excellence in this field and has extended his gift to others through his exceptional devotion to his students. In addition, this gifted scholar has been honored with numerous awards including a University Distinguished Faculty Scholar at WMU, Honorary Member of Phi Beta Kappa, two-time recipient of a Rockefeller Award for the Best philosophical work by an academically unaffiliated philosopher, National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipends in 1986 and 1996 as well as 1996 American Council of Learned Societies award for work on the philosophy of time and quantum cosmology. These accolades are a sterling reflection of the respect he has earned. Throughout his distinguished tenure at Western Michigan University, Quentin Smith earned notice and commendation for himself, his department, and the university as the author of five books and numerous articles in addition to co-authoring or co-editing six other books. He was sought out to present papers at more than 50 professional meetings and conferences to serve as a referee and reviewer for numerous professional journals. He served as an editorial advisor for Oxford University Press, MIT Press, Rutledge Publishers and Kluwer Academic Publishers. Ironically, a man so adamantly opposed to the notion of an afterlife will be immortalized by the philosophical legacy he has left behind. He is survived by his sons Landen and Tristan Woodsmith.