Karen Lovett Smith, beloved Idyllwild resident of 50 years, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 surrounded by her family.
Born Dec. 3, 1948 in suburban Detroit, she graduated magna cum laude from Alma College in 1971. Residing in Idyllwild since 1972, Karen was first a server at Pine Cove Lodge before beginning her teaching career at Twin Pines Ranch. Soon after, she was hired by Hemet Unified School District to teach sixth grade at Acacia Middle School.
The next year, she moved to Idyllwild School providing instruction in grades third through sixth during her long career as an educator. Her artistic and intellectual abilities, combined with a patient and gentle manner, made her an integral component of the Idyllwild School community. She will be dearly missed by former staff and students.
After retirement, she continued to lend her time and talents as an active member of the smARTS committee. Karen also served as a board member of the Friends of the San Jacinto Mountain County Parks with a focus on the Idyllwild Nature Center. In addition, she was able to continue learning and satisfying her ongoing curiosity by traveling domestically and internationally.
Decades ago, Karen and Larry, along with Kirby More, purchased acreage in Ocotillo Wells that became a special winter desert getaway to share with family and many longtime Idyllwild friends.
She was a dedicated mother and grandmother, cherishing her time with family. All who knew Karen valued her wisdom and wit as a generous, supportive friend.
Karen is predeceased by her husband Larry. She is survived by her brother Steven (Shawn) Lovett; son Ben (Allison) Smith; daughter Amanda (John) Kitahara; daughter Shayla (Dom Florentino) Smith; and grandchildren Burton, Finley, Ryker, Connor and Remi.