Karen Lynne Smith, 50, of Stillwater went to be with her Lord and Savior on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 at her home with her family by her side. Funeral Services have been entrusted to Palmer Marler Funeral Home and will be held at 10:00am on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 at the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Stillwater with Pastor John Dickey officiating. Visitation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 at Palmer Marler Funeral Home from 8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. A graveside service will be held Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 at Highland Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. in Lawton, Oklahoma. The graveside service will be officiated by Chaplain (Major) Randall Thomas, Senior Chaplain at Frontier Chapel on Fort Sill, Okla.
Karen was born on May 31, 1962 on Fort Sill, Okla., to James Samuel Sr. and Esther Marie (Perry) Smith. The family travelled frequently because of her father’s military service, living at times in Okla, NC., and Germany. She graduated from high school in Junction City, Kan., in 1980. Karen moved to Stillwater to attend Oklahoma State University and so began a lifelong love of the university and the community. She would receive her Bachelor of Science in Physiology in 1987 and her Master of Science in Psychology in 1990.
Karen began her working career at Nomadics, where she worked for 10 years as a Sales Manager and Purchasing Agent. She then returned to OSU first as an Academic Counselor and later as a Senior Academic Counselor, in both the Botany and Zoology Departments of the College of Arts & Sciences Student Academic Services. Karen was the sponsor for the OSU Student Council and was very proud of her work with the Office of Institutional Diversity Selection Committee and the United Way. She was awarded as the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Advising winner in 2007 and the University recently honored Karen’s dedication and exceptional service to the Department of Zoology undergraduate student body by announcing the creation of a semiannual event, the Karen L. Smith Undergraduate Research Symposium. The first symposium will be held on Friday, November 30, 2012.
In her spare time, Karen enjoyed softball, biking, racquetball, watching movies, and buying clothes. She was an active member of the Hillcrest Baptist Church. Through the years at the church she has taught Sunday school, gone on mission trips to Europe and South America, and helped with the children’s choir productions. She has especially enjoyed singing – as a member of the church choir and as a member of wonderful quartet that was near and dear to her heart.
Karen will be remembered as an independent and elegant woman who loved the Lord. Karen was meticulous and at times, stubborn. She would talk with anyone about anything, but she was also a great listener. These traits are what made her so effective at communicating with her students and co-workers. Karen loved Oklahoma State University and dedicated her career to ensuring that each student she influenced achieved their full potential. Karen Smith left an indelible mark on this earth and her legacy of faith and compassion will live on through all the people in her life.
Karen is survived by her mother Esther Smith of Lawton; seven siblings: Janice Newsom and husband Charles of Lorton, Va., Patricia Smith of Dobbs Ferry, NY, Cynthia Farrell and husband Daniel of Lawton, Lisa Smith of Lawton, James Smith, Jr. of Lawton, Walter Smith of Lawton, and Robert Martin-Smith and husband Jeff of Charlotte, Vt.; nieces and nephews: Adam Newsom, Staci Newsom, Jeremy Smith, Sr. and wife Chandell, Christopher Farrell, Sr., Elyse Martin-Smith, and Taryn Martin-Smith; grandnephews Jeremy Smith, Jr., Anthony Smith, Xavier Smith, and Christopher Farrell Jr.; as well as a host of friends, coworkers, and other relatives.
Karen was preceded in death by her father James Samuel Smith, Sr.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Oklahoma State University Foundation for the Karen L. Smith Undergraduate Research Symposium Fund.
Friends may leave condolences for the family via an online guestbook on www.pmcfh.com or facebook at www.facebook.com/pmcfh