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Karen J. Smith, 54, a resident of Wicomico, passed away peacefully on Wednesday the 15th of August 2018 at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, surrounded in comfort, and love by her family.

The only true native of Poquoson in our family, Karen loved the Peninsula region, and could never bring herself to move away from her beloved Virginia home. She was rooted in, loved, and lived the history of the area. 

Karen was not only my sister, but she also served as my continual roommate for nearly 18 years, until we went our separate adult ways. It didn’t matter how far apart we’d drift geographically, we’d always manage to stay closely connected. Karen, and I shared almost everything during our roomie days: books, music, toys, art, movies, loves, laughs, and secrets. Lots and lots of secrets!

Late one afternoon, with Karen still in the hospital, I shared this memory with her. “Pssst, hey Karen, do you remember how we would plot for hours to create a strategy on how to quietly invade our big sister’s bed? Remember how five minutes in, we’d typically get caught? Do you think it was because we were talking about our plan the entire way, including the time we were climbing in?” Even though she’d catch us in the act, Carol always made room for her double shadows, “Frick, and Frack.”  

In Virginia, Karen met and married Mike, the love of her life and husband of 32 years. Along with their daughter Shannon, they crafted a life of hard work, commitment to family, commitment to community, love of good laughs, faith, and love of good friends. Karen also enjoyed the simple pleasures of life. Karen was a mother, a wife, a baker, a gardener, and an avid reader. She was a rational and calm thinker. She was a political whiz kid, who devoured, decoded, and understood all types of political theater. It intrigued her. And with a mind like a steel trap, it empowered her. Karen was also fearless. At a moment’s notice, she’d hook up the family camper. With Shannon and friends April, Ashlee, and Jen in tow, off they’d go to create new adventures. 

Karen was faithful, friendly, kind, big-hearted, and loved to laugh. She also had an unexpected, and wicked sense of humor, that unchecked could cause a sister, daughter, or friend to spew Coca-Cola through their noses! 

For these wonderful attributes among countless others, Karen will be immensely missed. Thank you, Karen, for the role you played as an exceptional daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend. Those that have known you for your entire life will love and miss you for the rest of theirs. You were brave. You are our hero.

Karen was preceded in death by her paternal grandparents, Stewart and Anna Hibbard; maternal grandparents, Kendric and Ruble Carter; her parents, Sr. Master Sergeant (ret.) Robert S. Hibbard and his beloved wife, Patty, and in-laws, Bennie Jr. and Hazel Smith. 

Karen is survived by her husband, Michael Smith; their daughter, Shannon Smith; her sisters, Carol Hand (Tom) and Donna Rizwan (Saqib); her brother, Douglas Hibbard (Anna); aunts and uncles, Dave and Joy O’Roark, Norris and Nancy Bolling, Elizabeth Carter, Walt and Fran Hibbard, Carol Hibbard, and Rebecca Hibbard; sister-in-law, Yvonne McDonald; brothers-in-law, Jerry Moore (Jill) and Jimmy Moore; nieces, Lindsey Hibbard (Ben), Maggie Hand and Orrah McDonald; nephews, Jared Forrest (Tanya) and Justin and Kyle McDonald. Her family also includes three grandchildren many wonderful cousins, a great-niece, and -nephew, and countless wonderful friends, and those special close ones (Dianne, Morgan, April, Jen, and Ashlee).

The family of Karen J. Smith would like to express our thanks and gratitude to the wonderful, doctors, nurses, and staff of Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Thank you for fighting the good fight alongside us. 

A memorial service honoring Karen’s life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, at Hogg Funeral Home, Gloucester Point. 

In Karen’s memory, please honor her life with the giving of donations to the American Diabetes Foundation, or your favorite charity. She would love that.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home and Crematory, Gloucester Point. Please visit to share condolences and memories.