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Caroline J. SmithNovember 26, 2017
Caroline J. Smith, 81, of Burnsville, North Carolina, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 26, 2017, in Asheville, North Carolina, with her loving family by her side. She was born on June 1, 1936, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to George Elmer and Caroline Sarah (Shuman) Burpee. Caroline and her two sisters, Sylvia and Susan, grew up living in several places in the U.S. and for a short time in Canada, because of her father's job with Shell Oil. Eventually, her father retired to Houston, Texas, where Caroline graduated from high school.
Caroline attended the University of Northern Colorado, where she earned a Master's degree in art history. She returned to Houston and was employed as a social worker for a short time. There she married her first husband, and gave birth to her daughters, Anita and Suzy. The family moved to Seeley, Texas, where Caroline taught art and art history at Seeley High School for several years, while raising her daughters. She was adored by her students, many of whom stayed in touch with her daughters and have expressed how kind and sweet Caroline was.
In the early 1980s the family moved to Denver, where Caroline started her career as a designer for a tile company owned by Florida Tile and divorced her first husband. Eventually, Caroline was transferred to the Florida Tile facility in Lakeland, Florida, and traveled the country designing showrooms.
It was in Lakeland that Caroline met the love of her life, Hugh Smith. They were married on May 26, 1990. It had always been Caroline's dream to live in the mountains of North Carolina, and eventually Hugh and Caroline found a vacation home on the side of a mountain in Burnsville. They made several modifications to the home to suit the lifestyle they wanted to live, and when Caroline retired from Florida Tile, they moved to their dream home permanently in January 1998.
Caroline and Hugh became active members of the community, attended the Episcopal Church, and made many friends in the area. Caroline enjoyed reading, gardening, quilting, and bird watching. She was also a talented artist, who created beautiful oil paintings and charcoal drawings. She was a loving and faithful wife, mother, grandmother and sister. Caroline was a classy lady. She was generous, kind, elegant, loving and gentle. Caroline was dearly loved by her family and many friends who will miss her tremendously and remember her for many years to come.
Caroline was predeceased by her beloved parents, George and Caroline Burpee; and her sisters, Sylvia Burpee and Susan Basey. Caroline is survived by her loving husband of 27½ years, Hubert G. Smith; daughters, Anita McNeill (Chau Hoang); Suzanne Seeger (Clyde); granddaughters, Caroline Hoang and Catherine Hoang; nephew, Jason Basey (Sabrina); grand-nephew, Alexander Basey; and step-daughters, Tracy Grant (Lloyd) and Leslie Abuso (Joe).
A memorial service for Caroline will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, at Messiah of the Mountains Lutheran Church, 4011 East Highway 19 E, Micaville, North Carolina, with Pastor Phil Tonnesen officiating. Interment will be at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain, North Carolina. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that a donation be made in Caroline's name to your favorite charity.