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Remembering a pioneer: Flint community reflects on the life and legacy of Dr. Samuel Dismond Jr.

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (02/09/21)-“I am propelled by the philosophy of service above self” said former Hurley Chief of Staff, Dr. Samuel Dismond Jr. in 2009.

Words those who knew Dr. Samuel Dismond Jr. say he lived by throughout his life--

“He was an individual who can work across community lines religious law, political, and racial lines,” said longtime friend, Craig Coney.

He was always challenging the barriers,” said friend and colleague, Dr. Lawrence Reynolds.

One of the biggest barriers Dr Dismond took on-- becoming a physician during a time when they were few Black doctors.

First by training at St. Joseph Hospital--before opening up in his own practice in Flint-- Dr Dismond later went to work at Hurley Medical Center.

Eventually becoming the hospital’s first Black Chief of Staff in 1995. Creating a pathway for others like friend and colleague Dr. Lawrence Reynolds to follow.

“Coming to Michigan from Pennsylvania in the late 50s to train was preparation for bringing others of us on,” Reynolds said.

Craig Coney was first met Dr. Dismond like so many here in Flint did-- as his family physician when Coney was a child

. Coney grew up to admire and respect everything he did for him and for the community through his work as a doctor and as a board member for several local organizations-- including the Flint Institute of Music and chairperson for the Flint School of Performing Arts.

Dismond retired in 2012 at 80 years old.

“He was a person you take notice of. When he comes into the room and almost always, his wife. Jan was with him,” Coney said.

Dr. Dismond died Friday at the age of 89. Leaving behind his beloved wife and dance partner of 62 years, Jan- as well as his children and grandchildren. And a community.

“He is an important link in that chain, and this thing Black History Month. It also reinforces that we younger or not so young professionals have that responsibility to keep that chain strong and growing and reflect on the examples that our predecessors have set before us,” Reynolds said.

“He was a loved person in this community and beyond,” Coney said.

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