Carol Christensen Smagala
1935 - 2016
Carol Christensen Smagala, a quintessential Danish lady, was called home on December 18, 2016, to drink aquavit, play bridge and listen to mariachis with her parents, Thorvald and Hilda Christensen, her sister, Marjorie Christensen Sales Mueller, her nephew Ned Carter, and dear friends including, Raphael Amezaga and Antonine Correa, OFM.
Carol is survived by four devoted daughters: Stephanie Smagala, Karen Smagala, Jennifer Smagala Luciano (Richard Luciano), Sharon Fuller (Bill Fuller) and two beloved grandchildren, Abigail Claire Luciano and Ian Thor Luciano. She is also survived by her sister, Lillian Christensen Carter of Constantine, MI and many nieces and nephews.
Born December 11, 1935, Carol grew up between Chicago, IL and Mottville, MI where her parents were bar and hotel owners who migrated from Denmark. The youngest of three daughters, Carol was the first in her family to attend college at Michigan State University. She began her life-long career as an educator teaching kindergarten in Detroit, MI. Carol moved to Santa Barbara with her family in 1962. In the early 70s, she taught third grade at San Roque Catholic School. Carol loved teaching and over the years shared many stories and memories of her time in the classroom. In 1974, she changed careers and became a successful businesswoman, realtor, and later a real estate broker for more than 32 years. Carol was a member of the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS and served on the Education and Ethics committees.
Carol was an integral part of the Santa Barbara community. As her own children grew, she encouraged them to participate in the Goleta East 4-H Club where she volunteered as Community Leader. Later, she became a docent of the Neal Taylor Nature Center at Cachuma Lake. She loved participating in the Lake’s Annual Trout Derby. Most recently, Carol volunteered to help children with homework and tutoring through the Assistance League of Santa Barbara.
Carol deeply loved her family, living in Santa Barbara and her community. She also loved to laugh, tell a story, cook for family and friends, read, travel, and be with her cat Maddie.
A life celebration will be held for Carol at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club on Thursday, January 5, 2017 beginning at 3:00 p.m., with a commemoration of Carol slated for 4:00 p.m. Kindly email TeamLuciano04@gmail.com with your interest in attending by December 30, 2016 to help the family plan appropriately for the celebration.