Obituary for Karen Smith (Cunningham)
Karen Cunningham Smith, 71, of Athens, died Thursday, February 8, 2018 at her home.
Karen was born in northern Ohio and was the daughter of the late Harry and Mildred Sturm Cunningham. She is also preceded in death by three cousins and one granddaughter.
She completed high school at 17 in Barberton, Ohio. She married in that same year and worked three years in Columbus, Ohio, until the birth of her first child.
Although most of her life, homemaker would be listed as her occupation, a more appropriate description would have been professional mother and child advocate. She and her husband were foster parents for three decades, and she was on a first name basis with many judges, attorneys, and child welfare workers, in two states and four counties. Still she found time to play the organ or piano for numerous funerals.
She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Clarence Galen Smith of Athens; seven daughters and two sons-in-law, Lori and Dave Cannon of St. Clairsville, OH, Lisa and Robbie Bumgardener of Lagrange, OH, Holly Perez of Newport, KY, Jamie Smith and Jennifer Smith of Cleveland, OH, Julie Gordon of Key Largo, FL, and Shawnee Smith of Athens; three sons and two daughters-in-law, Matthew and Heather Smith, Anthony Smith all of Athens, Michael and Samantha Smith of Cleveland, OH; grandchildren, Jerry, Leighann, Kaitlen, Dalton, Devon, Haley, Mackenzie, Isaiah,Kharminy, Ryker, Nevaeh, Jessie, Gary, Derek, Ian, Adam, Adalynn and Lylah; one great-granddaughter; Charleigh; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Pam Cunningham, St. Petersburg, FL and James and Kathy Cunningham of Bluffton, SC; and several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 12:00-3:00 pm, Saturday, March 24, 2018 at Smith Funeral Home.
In lieu of cut flowers the family requests live plants, or a small donation in Karen's name be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, The Audobon Society, or to the family to defray final expenses.