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Mary Karas Smith Taylor; Ventura Homemaker

October 04, 2000

Mary Karas Smith Taylor, a Ventura homemaker, died Monday after a lengthy illness. She was 82.

She was born May 7, 1918, in Los Angeles, and when she was 18, she moved to Ventura as the bride of Nick Karas. Her husband worked for General Petroleum at Rincon Beach until his death in 1951.

Four years later, she married Ben H. Smith, who had a long career with the Free Press and Ventura Star-Free Press newspapers. He died the day after their 25th wedding anniversary.

She loved working in her home and gardening. She was known for the beautiful flowers that she grew, according to her family.

She was also active with the First Baptist Church of Ventura, where she met Warren Taylor; the couple married in 1981. He was a retired teacher and football coach. He preceded her in death in 1993.

She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Karas Gill of Reseda; her son, James Karas of Camarillo; stepson Chuck Taylor of Ventura; sister Helen Bazar of Monterey Park; brother John Casulas of Huntington Beach; five grandchildren; two step-grandsons, and five great-grandchildren.

At Taylor's request, there will be no memorial service.

Donations in her memory may be made to Assisted Homes Hospice, 2140 Eastman Ave., Suite 203, Ventura, CA, 93003.

Arrangements are under the direction of Ted Mayr Funeral Home, Ventura.

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