Karen Klein Champion Smith
Sept. 12, 1938 - May 7, 2018
Karen Klein Champion Smith, 79, of Naples, Florida, passed away on May 7. Born September 12, 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio, Karen was the daughter of the late Florence and Howard Klein, and sister of the late Ferol Gleason Flategraff. Karen graduated from Beaumont School in Cleveland Heights, and earned a Frances P. Bolton scholarship to attend St. John’s College where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing. She was also nominated for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges in 196In 1961, she married Thomas P. Champion, Jr. (Peter), and had three children; Tripp, Molly, and the late Kassie Champion.
During her lifetime, Karen resided in Cleveland Ohio, Westfield, NJ, Glencoe, IL, Bloomfield Hills, MI, and for the past 30 years, Naples, FL. In 1993 she married Gary W. Smith of Indianapolis, IN. They enjoyed many years of traveling with friends and led an active social life. Karen is well known by most as a successful real estate broker both on Chicago’s North Shore, and in Naples, FL. She was a consistent recipient of the Platinum Circle of Excellence award recognizing outstanding achievement to John R. Wood Properties and the Naples area real estate market. Karen was also a member of the Junior League, and served as President of the Park Shore Association in Naples.
Karen enjoyed tennis, gardening, and doting on her five Golden Retrievers over the past 40 years; Honey, Chamois, KC, Charlie and Wrigley. Admired and respected by all who knew her, she made friends wherever she went. Known for her boundless energy, sense of humor, and common sense – many described her as an “amazing woman and a powerful force.”
She is survived by her husband, Gary W. Smith; former husband and lifelong friend, Peter Champion; her children, Tripp Champion and Molly (Scott) Isbell; niece, Holly Gleason; step-daughter, Kristi (Tom) Curran; step-son, Rick Smith; grandchildren, Drew and Devin Isbell, China and Madison Reynolds, and Kyle Curran.
Memorial service to be held on Saturday, May 19th, St. William Catholic Church, 601 Seagate Dr., Naples. Visitation 10:30 a.m. until time of funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow at the family home. Interment at a later date, Sacred Heart Cemetery in Northbrook, IL.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation to one of these two organizations:
Golden Retriever Rescue of SW Florida, Inc.
P.O. Box 11098
Naples, FL 34108
PAWS Assistance Dogs, Inc.
3173 Horseshoe Drive So.
Naples, FL 34104