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Carol Smith

12/02/1953 - 07/17/2021
Service Date: 07/29/2021
Service Time: 2:00 PM
Service Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1852 North Stapley Drive, Mesa, Arizona
Visitation Date: 07/28/2021
Visitation Time: 6-8 PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery, 1212 N. Center St., Mesa, Arizona

Carol Smith (67) peacefully passed away on July 17, 2021 after a short struggle with cancer. Carol entered the world on December 2, 1953 in Phoenix, AZ.  Her life began in the loving family of Marion and Wanda (Turley) Smith, the fourth of seven children.  She grew up in east Phoenix on a five-acre horse property with room to run and roam.  Her siblings were her playmates and best friends.

As Carol’s father was a veterinarian, her love of animals was developed from birth.  The family had a continually changing collection of pets and exotic animals.  With a gentle Calico cat birthing several litters of kittens when Carol was young, she had a constant supply of little playmates to dress in doll clothes and snuggle.  Throughout her life she rescued or rehabilitated many animals, finding good homes for them.  Her personal pets included an African Grey parrot and several beloved cats.

After graduating from Arcadia High School (Phoenix) in 1971, Carol had an opportunity to travel to Europe with her brother, Norm, some cousins and other high school friends.  They toured six countries in five weeks.  This whetted her appetite to see the world.

Carol pursued higher education to become a nurse.  Early in her career, she donated her vacation time to work with a humanitarian organization that traveled into many Spanish speaking countries.  She became fluent in Spanish and used it throughout her career as a nurse, especially when she worked in the emergency room at the Maricopa county hospital.  She traveled to the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and many regions of Mexico and Central America, loving the people and cultures of each country.

In 1987 Carol’s adventurous appetite took her to Saudi Arabia to work at an English-speaking hospital that served the royal family.  Working with an international group of doctors and medical professionals, she gained valuable tips that aided the planning of trips throughout the Middle East and then all over the world.  She especially loved to “rough it” and stay in youth hostels or cheap hotels as she explored some of the most remote places on earth.

Carol had an innate love of all cultures and people, especially drawn to the archaeology of the ancient world and the people of third world countries.  On each return to visit the family in the States, she was the bearer of exotic and carefully chosen personal gifts for her parents, siblings, in-laws, and each of her twenty-eight nieces and nephews.

Carol retired in Mesa, Arizona in 2014 after almost 27 years of life in the Middle East.  By the time she was 60 she had traveled to upwards of 100 countries on 6 continents.  Her home was like an exotic museum with furnishings and artifacts from all over the world.

Carol’s last seven years were spent serving her community and church as a true disciple of Jesus Christ.  She served in Mesa as a local missionary and taught in her congregation on Sunday as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  She ministered weekly to people she loved at an assisted living center near her home.  Carol took over the shopping, errands and care of her 95-year-old mother during the past few years, as they lived near each other and enjoyed their time together.

Carol is survived by her mother, siblings:  David (Judy) Smith, Susan (Wayne) LeSueur, Jennifer (Chuck) Adair, Norman (Marianne) Smith, Spencer (Jennifer) Smith, Brian (Carrie) Smith, and twenty-eight loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father.

A visitation will be held on Wednesday, July 28 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Bunker Mortuary, 33 N. Centennial Way, Mesa, Arizona, 85201.  A private family interment will be held at the City of Mesa Cemetery on Thursday morning, July 29. Funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 29 at 2:00 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1852 North Stapley Drive, Mesa, Arizona.  Friends may visit with the family prior to the service at 1:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers consider donations to the Humanitarian Fund that Carol supported that administers aid to all countries at the link below:



  • Kerry Doyle Driggs

    What an amazing life and beautiful tribute….I loved reading about Carol and all the good she has done. We love the Smith family and share many great memories growing up together….we’ll be thinking of all of you this week. Give your sweet Mom a big hug for me.

  • I am missing my wonderful friend , Carol. We had so many great talks around our kitchen table when she dropped in after her shopping trips. She always had to tell me about the funny things her cats had done that day. How she loved her cats, and they loved her. She had so many experiences to share. I loved her and will truly miss her friendship.

  • Dory Pemberton

    Your sister led quite a wonderful life and probably doesn’t want to see any tears but joy that she is so n her next adventure. Love you

  • John D. Clark, DVM

    – – – Wanda, my heart breaks at the announcement of Carols death; my memory of this beautiful soul as a child so full of love and energy is as clear as if were just yesterday – – – Nancy and My arms surround you in loving care as you slowly regain your equilibrium – – – I know your faith is a balm for the intensity of the pain. I will never forget your kindness when our infant son David Scott died; May 14, 1959 – – – We never get over the death of a loved one we only come to accept it and put in perspective of what we know about the universe – – –

  • Richard Shields

    So sorry for your family’s loss. She was a clarifying spirit who made a difference!!

  • What a beautiful tribute to a beloved woman. We are very sorry for your loss. Your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Catherine DeGrandis

    I met Carol my first day at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Carol was a legend at the hospital and in kingdom, she knew everyone and everyone knew her. Carol was always willing to share her travel adventures and help and advise you to realize yours. I was lucky enough to be Carol’s roommate for a time in her beautifully curated apartment in E Complex, with her cats Tigger and Halal-a and her beloved African Grey, Rio. In 2009 Carol and I went to Cairo. It was by far my favorite trip during my time in the Middle East. Carol arranged for us to stay two blocks from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum – for $16/night! She then headed north to Alexandria and Siwa Oasis to explore Alexander and The Temple of the Oracle. I don’t think of Saudi Arabia without thinking of Carol. Carol was a great friend, and meant so much, to many of us expats – she will be greatly missed.

  • Sending our love and heartfelt condolences to the entire Smith family. We have such wonderful memories of Carol. She was so lovely and kind to all. What a wonderful example she was for decades as she touched and lifted countless lives. May God bless you all. 💙. Ruthie Jones Todd

  • I am so deeply sorry to hear of the loss of Carol. I met her in 2003 in Saudi Arabia where we started to work together. She was such a loving kind person with an encyclopediac brain and could keep you up all night with her travel stories. So long my friend,enjoy your travels

  • Carol was one of the first people I met after arriving in Riyadh. That was nearly 30 years ago, in 1992. I remember the occasion like it was yesterday – a Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my company. Carol had been invited by a colleague’s wife, who happened to be one of her best friends. Carol had recently traveled to Budapest, and I was fascinated by her tales of travel. Little did I know that one day I would travel with this fascinating woman to far-flung corners of the globe. It would be several more years until Carol and I crossed paths again, this time to form a wonderful and permanent friendship.

    Carol was intrepid and fearless, traveling to the back of beyond, often by herself. She had an encyclopedic memory, and was one of the most well-read persons I have ever known. I treasure the many trips we took together both within and outside the Kingdom, Carol regaling us with stories of her childhood, her family, her travels, and her pets to name a few. We celebrated many a Thanksgiving and Christmas together with our circle of friends, and were a family away from home.

    Carol’s personality was larger than life, as was her heart. I often called her the Patron Saint of Felines in Riyadh, for she rescued, cared for, and found homes for more stray cats than I could count – well over a hundred I am certain. Carol was the same with newcomers to the Kingdom, befriending them, mentoring them, and taking them under her wing. And I would be remiss if I did not mention Carol’s sense of humor – humor that left us clutching our stomachs from laughter that echoed off the walls.

    My broken heart goes out to the Smith family. From Carol’s stories, I feel like I know you even though we have never met. Carol…I miss you and save me a place at your table.

  • Dhiren rajnikant mardia

    RIP 🙏🙏🙏🌹🌹🌹
    She was my best client at kfsh i was Travel Consultant so sad to hear about her death

  • Siti Rosnah Maarof

    I met Carol in KFSHRC Riyadh, in 2001. We worked together in PACU until her retirement in 2014. She was so excited on the first day we met knowing that I am from Malacca, Malaysia. She came back the very next day with a photo album showing me my hometown. Her photo was taken at Parameswara Road just a few meters from the Police Station where my house was. We both love animals and became friends instantly. Carol was very good to me. She babysits my budgies and canaries during my vacation, I babysit Rio for her in return. Carol was a great storyteller, I feel like I know everyone in her life, family members and friends even without meeting anyone. We used to stay up late over the weekend just chatting. We were in contact until her last message on 26th June, telling me and another best friend (Leanne Atkins) about her condition. We prayed and support her from a distance. We love Carol and God love her more. Carol is in a better place now, smiling and looking down at us, waiting for us to join her. My heartfelt condolences to Carol’s family and friends. Carol has touched my life and I am so proud that she has called me.. her friend. I miss you, Carol, we will meet again.

  • Alina Articulo

    A very compassionate and caring person ! A loving smile , great listener and always there to give you a helping hand. I always cherished those times that Carol will come to my MSICU , offering a hand when Recovery Room was quiet. Thank you Carol, you will be missed but what a great role model.

  • Abdullah Al Sudairi

    My deepest condolences on the death of our sister Carol… Yes, she went and stayed with us her memories and her beautiful laugh… Yes, we believe that we will all leave one day, and the important thing is that we leave and leave a beautiful memory.

  • Lesley Russell

    I was so sad and my heart was very heavy when I heard that Carol had died. She was a fundamental part of a close group of ex-pat friends in Saudi that were family to each other away from home. Our own homes and families were scattered around the globe. Those were times of travel, adventure and fun and we had plenty of all of these! The memories of Carol keep flooding back. She was a larger than life character and she could make us laugh till we cried and were breathless from laughing. We were in awe of her because she was so knowledgeable – no doubt as a result of being so well-read and so interested in everything and everybody. Her family, friends and community have lost a very special person. Rest now in peace dearest Carol.

  • Carol was my flat made in SA for two years. She was so happy to tell me everything about the culture there, she introduced me to her friends and took me to lot of events. She was an expansive part of my life in SA, we had lot of fun. I am so grateful, that I could meet her and spend some time with her. She enrichmended my life. Rest in pease, dear Carol.

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