Karen Elaine Brown Smith of Batesville, Texas was born March 25, 1951 in Corpus Christi, TX to Jim Brown & Elaine Hall Brown, and she entered into eternal rest in the early morning hours of June 7th, 2019, after a long, fierce battle with cancer. She was resting comfortably at home surrounded by family. She is preceded in death by her father, Jim of Lagarto, Texas. She is survived by her loving husband of forty-nine years, Mike Smith of Batesville, Texas; a daughter Michele Rumfield (Joey) of Devine, Texas; a son Floyd Smith (Heather) of Batesville, Texas; her mother Elaine of Lagarto, Texas; a brother Michael Brown (Debi) of Lagarto, Texas; sisters Janet Forbes of Corpus Christi, Texas and Jody Cole (Clarence) of Orange Grove, Texas; grandchildren Mary Beth Rumfield Wesley (Garrett) of Carlos, Texas, Katie Jo, Julia, and Jack Davis Rumfield of Devine, TX; Hannah, McCoy, and Hope Smith of Batesville, Texas; 10 nieces and nephews, and dozens grandnieces and grand nephews.
A 1969 graduate of Corpus Christi's Mary Carroll High School, she was married to Mike Smith, her high school sweetheart, on June 14, 1970 in Corpus Christi and they first settled in Corpus Christi, and later Banquete, Texas. She was a favorite school-trip chaperone, cheer, band, and stock-show mom, and the "adopted momma" of dozens of kids.
A dedicated wife and devoted mother, as an oilfield wife she was adept at holding down the homestead and filling it with love, despite many special days and holidays apart from her husband. Of her marriage to the love of her life, she'd often say "everyday was Christmas" to her. In the kitchen she was famous for her chicken & dumplings. Flour tortillas, jerky, apple pie, and hot sauce from her backyard peppers were particular favorites of family and friends alike. She was a skilled seamstress, housekeeper, laundress, and landscaper, but also mechanic, plumber, butcher, and good at anything that needed doing. She was an inspiration for many women who knew her, and showed that women really could do anything they put their minds to. A prolific crocheter, many of her friends and family have "scrubbies" and pot holders lovingly hand-made by Karen.
After working as the office manager for Cudd Pressure Control in Robstown, Texas for many years, she became the matriarch of the M&K Smith Ranch near Batesville, Texas in 2001. She proudly assumed that role and made sure that the "K" was the same size as the "M" in the ranch's name. An avid fan of hunting, fishing, diving and all things outdoors, she was a dedicated conservationist and shared those passions with all who knew her. She loved whitetail deer, horned lizards, and hunting for rocks & arrowheads, but fishing was her life-long passion that she taught to too many kids to count. It was often said that Aunt Karen could drop a line in a bucket of water and catch a fish. It’s no coincidence that her favorite color was blue.
Grandmother, or G-Ma, loved babies and kids and never met a stranger. She always brought joy with her, and spread it around. She had the power to see the best in everyone and could find the common thread that links us all together.
Her remains will be laid to rest in a favorite spot surrounded by nature on the land she loved. Nephew Micah Cole of Corpus Christi will preside over the funeral services.
Honorary pallbearers are her nephews Flint Brown of Lagarto, David Cole of New Braunfels, Joshua Cole of Orange Grove, Danny Brown of Corpus Christi, Charlie Forbes of Corpus Christi, and Caleb Cole of Orange Grove.
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