Wanda Carol Smith of Gatesville passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2022, from a brief illness surrounded by her family at the age of 80. Despite her small stature, Carol was the epitome of a life lived with strength and determination. Everyone was welcome in her life.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2022 at First United Methodist Church, with Pastor Stephen Schmidt officiating. Carol’s family will receive visitors one hour prior to services at the church. Burial will follow at Restland Cemetery.
Wanda Carol Smith was born in the Browns Creek community of Coryell County, now part of Ft. Hood, on March 19, 1942, to the late Melvin Stella and Bessie Winifred Brookshire Smith. She was raised in Gatesville and graduated from Gatesville High School in 1960. Carol was a member of the high school band, playing the clarinet. She was voted “Most Quiet” her senior year. She attended Texas Christian University and the University of Mary Hardin Baylor earning a bachelor degree in Elementary Education as well as becoming a certified librarian. She taught school in the San Antonio, Waco and Oglesby school districts for many years before retiring from teaching. During the last 20 years she worked at Walmart and finally at UTMB in Gatesville before officially retiring. Carol’s greatest passion and enjoyment was the Gatesville Genealogical Society which she joined in 1979. She held every office within the group. She enjoyed travelling to cemeteries far and wide to conduct research. She was deeply devoted to the story of her own family in Coryell County and the Camp Hood area. She was proud of her roots within the Brookshire, Trammel and Wolf families to include Thomas Trammel, a Revolutionary Soldier. She loved to share her knowledge of Coryell County with anyone who would listen. Carol was an avid traveler. She visited many places in Texas and surrounding states including trips to Alaska, New England, Branson, Missouri and several journeys to Israel and Egypt. She went on more than 15 mystery tours with M&M Travel in Waco, not knowing where they would end up. It never mattered where they traveled, her anticipation and surprise was part of the fun. Carol was a Methodist all her life and devoted to her church family at the First United Methodist Church of Gatesville. She volunteered where needed and enjoyed field trips and other activities with her church group. She was always looking forward to the next event or adventure and never slowed down! She loved to visit the Gatesville Senior Center and was grateful for their mission to the seniors of Gatesville. She was also a proud member of the Gatesville Exchange Club.
Carol is survived by her sister, Zula Katherine Ayers and husband, William; niece, Katherine Pruitt Lee and husband, John; nephew, Brian Alan Pruitt; and her favorite and only great niece, Delaney Katherine Lee. She also leaves behind many cousins and friends, whom she considered her chosen family. There are too many special friends to mention but she loved them all just the same.
Carol’s family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during her last few weeks of illness. Carol never stopped praising her care coordination team at Coryell Health: Lauren Buss, Lauren Shelton and Dr. Wuenschel. The family would also would like to express their appreciation to Lori and the staff at The Oaks Assisted Living Facility, Providence Hospice, David Myers and her dear friend, Lisa, who provided special care and companionship at the end.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 2600 E. Main Street, Gatesville, TX 76528; Gatesville Genealogical Society; Gatesville Public Library, 111 N 8th St, Gatesville, TX 76528; or the Gatesville Senior Center, 208 N. Lutterloh, Gatesville, TX 76528.