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Karen Ann Smith

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Karen Ann Smith Karen Ann Smith, January 20, 2013, as a result of an auto accident in Battle Creek. Karen was born on March 11, 1947, to Albert Clifton Smith and Ruby Elizabeth (White) Smith at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her father served in the medical Corp of the U.S. Army in World War II. He passed away when Karen was only seven years of age. Her mother, Ruby, was her best friend as she grew up, guiding her and supporting her in all she wanted to do and become. Ruby passed away on June 1, 1979. Karen graduated from Portage High School with Honors after taking all accelerated classes. She served as a volunteer at Bronson Hospital where she later attended Nursing School. She then earned a B.S. in Elementary Education at Western Michigan University. She worked her way through college by working in the fabric department at the former Zayre Department Store and babysitting in her Portage neighborhood. Karen later earned her M.A. in Communications at Western Michigan University. Karen gave 32 years of service to the Bellevue Community Schools, teaching grades 1-4. She served at President, Vice President, and Negotiator for the Bellevue Education Association. She was a member of the Michigan Education Association, Eaton County Education Association, Michigan Education Association, National Educational Association, Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority, and AARP. Due to her keen interest in children, she volunteered at The Child Advocacy Center and Sexual Assault Services. Karen was avidly interested in improving her neighborhood and often worked with Neighborhoods, Inc. on projects that furthered that cause. She loved her home, which she completely repaired and redecorated, doing most of the work herself. She loved flowers and made brick paths and cutting gardens to fill her house with bouquets. She loved going to antique shows and making quilts. Karen loved the ocean and traveled to Maine many times, as well as Europe and Hawaii. She leaves behind her close friends who were her "family". Entertaining them in her home was one of her most favorite activities. No visitation or services are planned. Karen often said that if she couldn't see how her hair looked, no one else would either! Cremation has taken place and her ashes will be buried beside her mother in Gennesse Prairie Township Cemetery. Leave a personal message for the family and sign the online guest book at www.kempffuneralhome.com arrangements by Craig K. Kempf Funeral Home.

Published in Battle Creek Enquirer on Feb. 17, 2013
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