Memorial Service for Kimberly Smith Scheduled for March 31 at SHRP

A memorial service will be held in the Chapel at Sam Houston Race Park at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 31 for Kimberly Smith, a racehorse owner and THP member who was killed in the BP Amoco Plant explosion in Texas City, Texas on Wednesday, March 23. Kimberly Ann Smith was 43 years old at the time of her death.

Smith, a JE Merit employee, did contract work at several area refineries in the past five years. She enjoyed her colleagues and the challenges of her work, but she found the most joy in her animals. In addition to owning racehorses, she was a competitive roper.

"Every spare minute she was not working, she was at the racetrack," said Barbara Smith, her mother. "She knew all the jockeys and the trainers."

Smith obtained her owner’s license in 1999 and had a great love for the racing business, the horses, and the people. She enjoyed watching horses that really gave their heart during the running of a race, which brought her to own one of her greatest joys - a turf claiming horse named Fiery Nina. Smith was the best friend of trainer Mindy Willis.

Smith touched many lives in the racing business and had a way of making people feel good about themselves. She was always ready with a smile and a kind word.

Smith struggled with cancer during the past decade and fought it privately, telling just a few close friends and her mother. She never let anyone see her sick or just not feeling well in public because she did not want her illness to define her life.

"She said, 'Mama, I am going to live life while I can,'" Smith said. "She was brave and strong about it."

Smith was known for being active with the children in her Dayton community and teaching them about animals.

"She was always involved with the kids and all of their livestock projects," said Susan Addington, a longtime friend.

Smith was close to Addington's two children, who bubbled with excitement when her Dodge pickup pulled into their driveway.

"When we found her truck parked at the plant, she had a picture of them on her speedometer," Addington said.

Smith, an only child, lived with her mother.

"They were very close," Addington said. "I don't think the reality of all of this has sunk in yet."

Smith’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, April 2, at the First Baptist Church in Dayton, Texas.

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