Kari Smith Tippens

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 29, 2019

March 4, 1976 – Aug. 22, 2019

JAMES ISLAND, CHARLESTON, South Carolina — The self-appointed Countess, Kari L. Tippens of James Island, 43, died peacefully on her own terms in her home surrounded by loved ones just before 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. She spent more than a year and four months kicking stomach cancer in the a** until she decided to let love win the fight.
Kari was born March 4, 1976, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the daughter of Curtis and Beverly Smith. She remained in Lincoln where she received an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska. Upon graduation, Kari decided that she would never, ever shovel snow ever again and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Soon after she moved to Memphis where she lived for eight years and met her future husband, Adrian L. Tippens, originally of Natchez.
After a four-month storybook romance, they married in Certaldo, Italy. They decided that roots would best be laid down in Charleston, South Carolina. In the Spring of 2007, they sold their homes, packed and moved to James Island. Kari received her master’s degree from the Citadel in 2014, worked at the Citadel, The College of Charleston, and finally at MUSC Hospital. She also was co-owner of Café Tippeneaux of the Charleston Farmer’s Market from 2008-16.
While none of the above means anything in the big scheme of things, what does matter is that Kari did not settle for merely existing. She lived. She lived her life to the fullest and squeezed every bit of life and adventure out of each moment. She never settled. And she kicked a**. She is remembered for such. Love wins. Hers is a legacy of love and a life well lived. She is an inspiration on how the cards should be played.
Kari is survived by her husband, Adrian L. Tippens and one son, Bouden S. Tippens of James Island; her parents of Gallatin, Tennessee; and two sisters, Kristen Smith of Franklin, Tennessee and Kelly Bell of Hendersonville, Tennessee.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Charleston Parks Conservancy, Attn: Setephanie Lee for Kari Tippens Memorial, P.O. Box 31187, Charleston, S.C. 29417. A bench is going to be installed in memory of Kari at her favorite park down the street. Thank you all for the love. It is love that wins in the end. Not bitterness toward why or how.  A true inspiration…

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