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The Villages
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Karen Wordell-Smith

Karen Wordell Smith
Karen Wordell Smith

Karen Wordell-Smith
October 7, 1941 – January 29, 2024

Karen Janet Wordell-Smith passed away on January 29, 2024. She was born October 7, 1941 to David G. Nordstrom and Marjorie M. McWilliams Nordstrom, both deceased.

Karen is survived by her husband Donald Francis Smith, to whom she’d been wed to for 31 years. The two of them had successfully operated a full-service mortgage company in North Miami Beach until they sold it in 1997 when he retired, and she accepted a position in Tallahassee, Florida as Executive Director of the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers (now known as the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals).

She is also survived by her step-son, Donald Francis Smith II and step-daughter Deborah Ann McDonnell; and by her older sister Norma Jean Parker and her two sons, David (Karla) Parker and Larry (Irina) Parker, plus several of her grandchildren; a granddaughter Peaches (Jeffrey) Kassabian, her son Fry; and a second granddaughter Summer Tucker.

Karen grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. She then moved to Miami, Florida in 1968 when she became employed by the Norman Babel Mortgage Company. It was there that she met her husband Don, who was a broker from a competing firm. She later came to own the Babel Mortgage Company in 1981, and Don worked at her side as her business partner. She also was an association officer with the Florida Association of Mortgage Brokers (F.A.M.B.), having served as President of the Miami Chapter in the mid 1980’s, and then went on to become F.A.M.B.’s State President in 1991. In 1997 she accepted the position as F.A.M.B.’s Executive Director, which led her to selling her business, and her husband’s retirement. She served with the association for ten more years until her retirement in 2007. From there, she and Don relocated to The Villages in 2010, where she enjoyed spending her days playing golf, and staying active in several local clubs.

Karen’s Celebration of Life Memorial will be held on Saturday March 9, 2024 at the Captiva Recreation Center in The Villages from 2 to 4 p.m.

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