Karen Smith Obituary (1954 – 2021) – Exeter, NH
Exeter, NH – Karen Burgess Smith, 67, from Exeter, passed away peacefully on Sunday November 7, 2021 in Webster in Rye. She was born in Kittery, Maine on January 12, 1954, daughter of the late Thelma St. John Smith and the late Myron Smith.
Raised in Hampton, she graduated from Winnacunnet High School with the Class of 1971. She received her Bachelor of Science in Arts Education from the University of New Hampshire (1974), Master of Arts in Liberal Studies in Humanities from Dartmouth College (1983) and a Certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University (1994).
Karen shared her gift and passion for teaching in a wide range of environments. She has taught art in NH Prisons, Middle and High School Art in Concord Public Schools, as well as Art History at Saint Anselm College, St. Paul’s School, NH. Institute of Art and at the Phillips Exeter Academy where she was also director of Lamont. Gallery.
A longtime contributor to arts education and museum-related activities in the state and beyond, Karen has served on the Art Educator Certification Standards Committee for the NH State Department of Education. , juror for the New Hampshire Scholastic Art Awards competition and juror for the National Art Museum Currier Festival of Art. She was also president of the New Hampshire Visual Arts Coalition.
Karen was recognized as “Outstanding Art Educator of the Year” in 1999 by the New Hampshire Art Educators Association.
The Boston Globe recognized her as “one of the women (who) run the arts in the Granite State” (1996). Governor Craig Benson appointed her to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts in 2003, and then in 2006, Governor John Lynch appointed her chair of the council.
In addition to supporting the arts, Karen was an artist herself and worked in several mediums including photography, printmaking, jewelry, pottery, writing, and video.
His company, Picture This Productions, received the New Hampshire / National Education Association News Media Award for their television series “Spotlight on Schools”.
Karen loved all types of music, from Police and Brandi Carlisle to Paul Simon and Pink Martini. She has supported a wide range of social and community causes by helping to organize MLK day events and volunteering with a hospice. She was a Renaissance woman, teaching aerobics, playing the 12-string guitar, and taking up the hand drum in her later years. She has traveled the world meeting students, families and friends from all over the world. She was a dorm mom to anyone who appreciated her humor, kindness and honesty.
Vacation was Karen’s season. She could be found wearing crazy Halloween masks, decorating the house, and buying gifts for everyone all year round. She was known for her funky artistic fashion, could make a medium banana bread and make a very fine grilled cheese sandwich.
Karen brought love, hugs and laughter to the world where she was a shining light to everyone who knew her. You could always count on her to take matters into her own hands when needed and stay organized when others weren’t.
Her positive attitude, full smile and quick wit are gifts to all of us. Surviving family members include her 40-year-old husband Randall Raymond from Exeter; stepdaughters Erin Raymond of Boscawen, NH and Megan Raymond of Charlottesville, Virginia; and his son Nathaniel Raymond of Eliot, Maine.
The family would like to sincerely thank the staff at Webster at Rye for the extraordinary care they provided during such a difficult time.
An incarceration service will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday 13 November 2021 in the Memorial Garden of the Congregational Church in Exeter, 21 Front Street, Exeter. Parents and friends are respectfully invited.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rannie Webster Foundation, c / o Webster at Rye, Attn: Angel Blais, 795 Washington Road, Rye, NH 03870. https://www.websteratrye.com/donate-volunteer / make a gift / Arrangement assistance was provided by Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton. Please visit www.RemickGendron.com to view Karen’s memorial website, sign her tribute wall or for instructions.
Posted by Concord Monitor on November 12, 2021.