Mr. Karl Ray Smith, 50, passed away Thursday, September 7, 2023. A celebration of his life will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 13, at the Navasota Lions Club Building followed by a lunch reception. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel.
Born in Lumberton, Mississippi on July 10, 1973, to Eddie Earl and Betty Jo Smith, Karl later graduated from Lumberton High School in Mississippi in 1991. He played football in high school, was a member of the FFA, and a member of the Hickory Creek Baptist Church. Karl eventually moved to Texas following his career in the oil field and lived in Navasota for many years. Karl and Lori were married at sunset on the deck of a paddle boat on Lake Conroe on March 16, 2007, surrounded by family, friends, good food and laughter. That evening, two families were joined by love and laughter which has grown into their own love story. A love story which grew with each year, especially when grandchildren came along, and they became Bumpy and Puddin.
Karl’s four daughters were the objects of his love and the pride of his life. Karl Ray was Bumpy to the little boy who changed his life, McCollum Calhoun “MC”, and his sweet little granddaughter, Kreece Elmore. At 4 years old, MC was already the co-captain of Karl’s boat and practicing for fishing trips to Port O’Connor and well on his way to becoming Bumpy’s best fishing buddy. Kreece had him wrapped around her little fingers, as
all the girls did. Bumpy was his name, spoiling was his game.
Karl was excellent at his job, starting out on an oil rig but earned the respect of his bosses and became a drilling supervisor working all over Texas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota. He took pride in his work. He loved the outdoors and fishing and hunting birds. He and Lori enjoyed their time living a simple life in a fifth-wheel RV in Port O’Connor, making new friends, watching the waves and the sun set over the bay. He loved the Gulf Coast from Mississippi to Texas, and his best hunting dog, Anderson. He loved the country and traveling but was always happiest at home. Karl Ray loved to feed people - especially his pulled pork, gumbo, and jambalaya!
The tragic and sudden death of Karl Ray Smith has created a big hole in the hearts of his family, friends, and co-workers. He is survived by his wife, Lori Ward Smith; daughters, Kaitlyn Smith of Mississippi, Jillian Smith of Bryan, Lorin Stuart of Clifton, and Korbin Stuart of College Station; his “bonus son” Charlie Busse of Navasota; grandchildren, the loves of his life, McCollum Calhoun and Kreece Elmore; his father, Eddie Earl Smith of Port O’Connor; sister, Leslie Rich of Mississippi; two sisters-in-law, Betty Jo Levin of The Woodlands and Kerri Ward Hilley of Anderson; mother-in-law Charlene Ward and husband Larry of Anderson; fatherin- law Tommy Ward and wife Betty of Willis; special aunt, Connie Kelly of Mississippi; special uncle, Tracy Eaton of Mississippi; special cousin, Jason Eaton of Navasota; and his special nephew, CJ Smith of Bryan, Texas. Karl was a wonderful son, nephew, uncle, and cousin to many.
Karl was preceded in death by his mother, Betty Jo Smith and his grandparents.
He was a big man with a bigger heart which brought joy to so many. To have known Karl Ray is to know his tremendous generosity, his unswerving conviction that family is everything and that hard work is key to success. Karl did not have to talk about his personal beliefs - HE LIVED THEM!
Serving as pallbearers are Josh Wisnoski, Jason Druckhammer, Braydon Stigall, Kenneth Cummings, Zak Bray, Ted Snelling, Dustin Tapera, Clint Hurst, Parker Moon, Vince Haigood, Jason Shive, Joseph Morris, Chris Boudreaux, Don Graf and Michael Dobijanski.
The family invites you to leave kind words or fond memories at www.noblesfuneral. com.