January 12, 1954 - November 7, 2021
Exeter - Karen Burgess Smith, 67, of Exeter, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at Webster at 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 Art Education from the University of New Hampshire (1974), a 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 taught art in NH prisons, middle and high school art at Concord Public Schools, and also art history at Saint Anselm College, St. Paul's School, the NH Institute of Art, and Phillips Exeter Academy where she also served as Director of the Lamont Gallery. A long-time contributor to art education and museum-related activities in the state and beyond, Karen served on the Art Educator Certification Standards Committee for the N. H. State Department of Education, juror for the New Hampshire Scholastic Art Awards competition and juror for the Currier Museum of Art All-State Art Festival. She also served as the 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) drive 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 made her chair of the Council. In addition to supporting the arts, Karen was an artist herself and worked in multiple mediums including photography, print making, jewelry, pottery, writing, and video. Her company, Picture This Productions, received the News Media Award from the New Hampshire/National Education Association, for her "Spotlight on Schools" television series. Karen loved all types of music from the Police and Brandi Carlisle to Paul Simon and Pink Martini. She supported a wide range of social and community causes helping to organize MLK day events and volunteering with hospice. She was a renaissance woman, teaching aerobics, playing 12 string guitar and taking up hand drum in her final years. She traveled the world meeting students, family and friends around the globe. She was a dorm mother to all who appreciated her humor, caring, and honesty. The holidays were 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 bake a mean banana bread and make a mighty fine grilled cheese sandwich. Karen brought love, hugs and laughter into the world where she was a bright shining light to all who knew her. She could always be counted on to take charge when needed and stay organized when others were not. Her positive attitude, full smile, and quick wit are gifts to us all. Surviving family members include her husband of 40 years, Randall Raymond of Exeter; step-daughters Erin Raymond of Boscawen, NH, Megan Raymond of Charlottesville, Virginia, son Nathaniel Raymond of Eliot, Maine, her sister Julie Gagne of Ormond Beach, FL, her brother Myron “Bud” Smith Jr. of North Palm Beach, FL and many loved cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. The family would like to express deep thanks to the staff at Webster at Rye for their extraordinary care given during such a difficult time. A committal service will be held at 1 P.M. Saturday, November 13, 2021 in the memorial garden of The Congregational Church in Exeter, 21 Front Street, Exeter. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rannie Webster foundation by clicking here or by mail c/o Webster at Rye, Attn: Angel Blais, 795 Washington Road, Rye, NH 03870.
Exeter - Karen Burgess Smith, 67, of Exeter, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at Webster at 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... View Obituary & Service Information
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