Obituary: Karen Smeltzer Williams
October 25, 1944 – September 9, 2023
Karen Smeltzer Williams, 78, of New Castle, Colorado, died in her small country cabin on September 9, 2023. She was born to George and Bonnie Smeltzer on October 25, 1944 and is survived by her mother Bonnie, sisters Lynda Murray and Jan Smeltzer, brother David Smeltzer (Susan), daughters Lauren Branson (Nick) and Erin Williams. Survivors also include her little dog Nina, her friend Steve, and her niece Danica and nephew Sean.
Karen graduated from UNC with honors in 1966, earning a double major in special and elementary education. She completed her masters coursework at Berkeley in social science. She taught in Greeley, the Bay Area, Maui, New Castle, and Glenwood Springs. Karen was a highly regarded educator in her teaching positions, and was the recipient of the Honorary Service Award for “outstanding service to children and youth” awarded by the California Congress of Parents and Teachers. She also worked for Planned Parenthood in Maui, and upon returning to Colorado in 1999 drove for CMC and the Traveler. After retirement, she volunteered as a grief counselor with Hospice of the Valley.
All her life’s work was with people, young and old, normal, and not so normal. She liked to make people feel comfortable and enjoyed laughing with them….and making them laugh when she told a good joke. She was a good listener and friend.
Her unrequited love was writing. She loved to write and composed wonderful letters, stories, and poetry. She cared deeply for the natural world, and wished for less suffering. One of her favorite places was the Highlands Cemetery above New Castle, where her ashes will be interred near the old Highland Cemetery gate.
Cards or correspondence for the family can be sent to Bonnie Smeltzer, 1371A Aspen Way, Delta, CO 81416. Karen requested to please extend the gift of positive love to all. Especially to the animals.
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