Karen Cornelia Athey

29 December, 194012 June, 2021

On Saturday, June 12th, 2021, Karen Cornelia Smith Athey, loving wife and mother of three children, passed away at the age of 80.

Karen was born on December 29, 1940 in Sulpher Springs, Texas. She met and married Bill Athey in December, 1957. After having three children they moved to Tyler, Texas in 1967 to settle down there and raise their children, Billy Hulon Athey, Jr., Ann Elizabeth Athey and Julia Catherine Marshall.

She and her husband were local business owners in beautiful East Texas. Karen was loved by everyone and never met a stranger, lighting up the room wherever she went. She had a free spirit and loved to travel, including Ireland and around the Santa Fe desert. Karen is survived by her daughters Ann Athey and Julia Marshall, 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. She was proceeded in death by her parents Betty Henninger and Hugh V. Smith, husband Bill Athey, Sr. and son Billy Athey, Jr.

Graveside service will be held Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 10:00am at Rose Hill Cemetery.


  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, 16 June , 2021


Karen Cornelia Athey

have a memory or condolence to add?

Annada Elliott Jones

16 June 2021

Karen and I have been friends since elementery school.
We were in Sunday School together since the 3rd grade. We shared many, many happy times in high school. Karen ALWAYS

I also remember how strikingly beautiful her mom was, and Karen inherited that. We will miss her. Comfort for you all and blessed memories of a wonderful girl.

Pamela Rowley

16 June 2021

So many sweet times with this lovely cousin. .My Mom, her aunt use to babysit Ann when she was little. Miss all the family reunions

Rita Blackman

16 June 2021

We were pen friends when i first went to senior school.Just 1month difference in our ages .Writing via airmail to each other very frequently. The address I wrote to still rings in my mind today . 310 Whitworth street Sulpher Springs USA if I remember correctly . Then in the beggining 1950s America was a far distance land but the excitement I felt when the american letters landed on my family home doormat 75 Clifton Road Hastings Great Brtitain made me very excited . One Christmas Karen sent me the most magical pair of gloves I had ever seen . Pink very fluffy each finger being edged with silver thread ,how my friends envied them no one had anything like them .Rest in peace Karen and thank you for all the happy memories xx

Jo Anne Muench

15 June 2021

There will never be another Karen.
She was unique, creative, brilliant, hilarious
and purely one-of-a-kind.
Ray and I will miss Karen very much.
She was the big sister I never had.
Our love to Karen's family who she adored and
who adored her in kind.
Fly, sweet Karen, fly!!!!!!!!!

From the Family
From the Family