Karl G. Smith, 81, formerly of Belgrade and Champlin, died Tuesday, May 7th at Bethesda Grand in Willmar. His Celebration of Life gathering will be from 2-5:00 pm, Sunday, May 19th at Koronis Hills Golf Club in Paynesville. Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Home in New London. Memorials are preferred. www.hafh.org
Karl was born to George and Fannie (McKibben) Smith in Mill Hall, Pennsylvania. Karl graduated from Lock Haven High School in 1956 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served his duty on the U.S.S. Hornet for four years. While in service, Karl met Gedina Norby of Glenwood, MN in San Diego, California. Karl and Gedina “Marie” were united in marriage on December 24, 1960, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lockhaven, PA.
Karl and Marie lived in Williamsport, PA for a brief time before moving to the Minneapolis, Minnesota. They made a life and raised their children in the metro area. Karl worked 40 years in the tree service industry, finishing his career as a foreman for Asplundh. After retiring in 1999 he and his wife moved to west central Minnesota to be near walleye filled lakes, green golf courses and family.
Karl was a passionate sportsman. In his early years he enjoyed baseball, billiards, bowling, hunting, fishing, and camping. He also loved working on jigsaw puzzles and watching VCR movies (usually simultaneously). Later in life he found more time to play golf and was a member at Koronis Hills Golf Club in Paynesville, where he won his share of senior golf tournaments. He adored children, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren, playing joyfully with them up until the very end. He was forever young at heart and will be cherished, in the hearts of those who loved him, for many years to come.
Karl is survived by his son, Steven (LouAnn) Smith of Plymouth; daughter, Kimberly (Lee) Wendlandt of New London; grandchildren, Artemus (Cassie) Nordvik, Wyatt Nordvik, Cory (Makenzie) Smith, Kelly (Ryan) Christensen, Hannah Wendlandt, Emily (Josh) Plantenberg and Seth Wendlandt; great grandchildren, Kree, Jonah, Maxwell, Clara, Ella and Beck; siblings: Thomas (Joyce) Smith of Cogan Station, PA, Ruth Brown of Carlisle, PA and Cheryl Fuller of Mill Hall, PA; and son-in-law, Brian (Dori) Nordvik. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Gedina (Norby); daughter, Linda Nordvik, infant grandson, Andrew Nordvik, father, mother, two sisters and four brothers.