2012 Hall of Fame Inductee
KAREN SMITH was the inductee for Superior Performance. This gracious lady hailed from Godfrey, Illinois. As she grew up it was apparent that she was going to be a “Lefty” to her father’s dismay since he thought left handed people were at a disadvantage. This so disturbed him he even tried tying her arm behind her back to get her to change hands – to no avail. Strong willed and stubborn, Karen was determined to prove him wrong. She competed in baseball, softball, football, golf, horseshoes, shooting, badminton, shuffleboard, table tennis and bowling! She loved to compete.
In 1959 her family moved to Hollywood and later into the San Fernando Valley. She attended Chatsworth High and Cal State Northridge. Her parents bowled in leagues and while she was attending college her dad taught her to bowl. She says she took a bowling class but she liked badminton and fencing more. After college she married and was busy raising two daughters which left little time for sports.
The family eventually moved to the San Diego area and one weekend she was watching a Karen Smith men’s bowling tournament and she thought to herself, “I can beat those guys!” The guys weren’t bowling all that well and it served as motivation for Karen to start practicing. Her dad had taught her that, “Competition is fun and winning is even more fun.” Her stats include 2-800 series’; 6-300 games; High league average of 222 in 1999-2000 in the San Diego North County Association; Bowler of the Year in 1980-81 and 1981-82; Member of CWBA Team Champions 1993; CWBA Senior Women’s Singles Champ -2006. She was the winner of the Super Senior Tour, the only woman entered!
Karen has had numerous top three/five/ and fifteen finishes over the years in challenging competition. Of note, Karen’s husband rolled a 300 in the second game of the night and Karen matched it with her own 300 in the third game, which included a 15-minute lane breakdown in the 10th frame! Karen Smith, a woman with tremendous competitive drive and a humble spirit.