Karen Margaret Smith
Karen Margaret Smith, born Margaret Jean Venable, April 27, 1929 to Jeanette F. Houston Venable passed away peacefully in the hospital, February 18, 2018, her daughter holding her hand as she traveled her last journey.
Karen was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, moved to Enid, Oklahoma at an early age. She enjoyed ice skating, creating her own style (a mix of dance and figure skating) later having her skate blades modified to perfect her technique.
Her career started at age 15 at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas. Later she went to Holiday on Ice East Coast where her stage names were 'Fire Ball' due to her natural flaming red hair, and the one name 'Karen'
She joined the International division starring in the South American show. Later Karen starred in several ice shows SA: the New Yorker Hotel in NY & Chicago, the Conrad Hilton among others . Preparing to retire from traveling shows when her daughter started school, Karen starred in a tank ice show at POP Amusement Pier Santa Monica, California. along with small parts in movies, including a skating scene in 'Snow White & the 3 Stooges,' Karen loved her skating career 1944 to1961.
Karen's enjoyed hosting & cooking amazing feasts for friends & family She collected over 500 cook books..
Karen was very proud of her Texas heritage. Her grandfather, James Franklin Houston III, and grandmother, Emma Ellzey Houston, were strong independent people from long lines of pioneering individuals who left their mark in history.
In the mid 1980's, Karen moved to Lompoc to marry “Chuck' Charles O. Smith, the love of her life. Chuck sadly passed away in 2001 and Karen did not remarry.
Karen had her own business in the 60's to 80's in Florida. She hired a crew of talented painters to hand paint her designs on hats & clothing, they sold in department stores,SA: Neiman Marcus.
An avid gardener she enjoyed designing beautiful landscapes
Karen traveled the world appreciating all adventures. keeping abreast of world happenings, political aspects, medical innovations, reading the newspaper every day, completing the crossword puzzle. She was a good conversationalist, able to intelligently discuss any subject. Her personality was loving & accepting, her quick wit was a wonderful surprise to those meeting her for the first time. She was impeccably dressed, accessorized, & quaffed whenever she left the house. Most people in town recognize her by her long snow white hair in pigtails, with matching color fancy hair ties.
Karen is survived by daughter, Melody Mann (Washington State); grand daughter, Athena Peña and husband Mark (Texas); 2 great-grand daughters & 6 step great-grand children, a second Cousin, William Sills in Florida, & many dear friends who have been a great part of her life.
Karen was well loved & will be deeply missed.
Her last days with us she kept saying she had a 'Fantastic Life - a Wonderful Life' & that she wanted to go out 'with a Real Whiz Bang.'
Close family and friends will celebrate Karen's life at La Botte Restaurant in Lompoc, Sunday March 4, 2018.
Time and Space TBD; for information call or text (253) 335-7653.
If you would like to make a donation in her name instead of flowers, please consider the charities below:
D.E.L.T.A. Rescue PO BOX 9 Glendale Ca 91209 (no kill care for life, dog and cat rescue)
Wounded Warriors project ( Donor center ) Po BOX 758541, Topeka Kansas 66675-8541