Cover photo for Dr. Evelyn Joy King Smiley's Obituary
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Dr. Evelyn Joy King Smiley

November 30, 1932 — November 24, 2023


Dr. Evelyn Joy King Smiley

Evelyn Joy King Smiley passed away peacefully at home on November 24, 2023 from complications of metastatic colon cancer. She was born in Ralls, TX on November 30, 1932, the 3rd daughter of John Coleman (Ted) King and Emma Daniel King. The family moved to Levelland, TX early in 1936, and Evelyn subsequently graduated valedictorian of Levelland High School in May 1950. She did pre-med studies at Texas Tech College and the University of Houston before entering medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, TX. After graduating in 1957, she completed a rotating internship at the George Washington University in Washington, DC and moved to San Francisco, CA in 1958. She worked in Oakland, CA as a General Practitioner in the very early days of the Kaiser-Permanente Hospital. In 1962, her family moved to Lamesa, TX where she practiced as General Practitioner at the Medical Arts Clinic and Medical Arts Hospital from 1962 to 1990. During this time, she delivered over 5000 babies and answered tens of thousands of after hours calls. Following her private practice years, Dr. Evelyn worked with the South Plains Rural Health Clinic in Lamesa until May of 2007 when she took a leave of absence for family illness. When she retired at age 75, she had practiced medicine for over 50 years. She was a career-long member of the American Medical Association, a delegate to the Texas Medical Association, and a member of the American Academy of Family Practice. She served as the Medical Director of the public health department for five counties for many years and mentored numerous medical preceptors through the AAFP to support development of future members of the medical community.

Evelyn married David Neil Smiley on January 30, 1953 in Houston, TX. David was also a physician, and they had 5 children together: Dr. Samuel Neil Smiley (Roberta) of Houston, TX; Susan Emma Smiley, chemical engineer-retired of Austin, TX; Dr. Sarah Imogene Smiley (Andrew Donnelly) of Austin, TX; Stephen Ted Smiley (Stacey), civil engineer of Cedar Park, TX; and Sandra Rebecca Smiley, deceased in childhood. Dr. Evelyn and Dr. David lived in Mill Valley, CA while he worked in the US Public Health Service at the Presidio, and both of them loved the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay area and the temperate climate. She was delighted to find she had no allergies for the years they lived there. Both of them thought these years were the happiest of their married life with limited call schedules and 9-to-5 working hours, giving them more time with children and to explore the West Coast. They left California to return home to West Texas so their children would be able to grow up around their extended families.

After struggling with dementia, Dr. David passed away in 2009. Dr. Evelyn sold her home in Lamesa in 2014 and moved to Austin to be near her children and grandchildren. She was a life-long, faithful member of the Church of Christ and a regular contributor to African Christian Hospitals and other Christian charities. She is survived by 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren as well as 3 sisters (Nancy Carr of Levelland, Ruth Bird Byrne of Levelland, and Kay Houston (Richard) of Morton), 1 brother (Benn Stanley King of Beulah, CO), and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, youngest daughter, and older sister, Mary Nell Baggett Denny.

A visitation will be held in Levelland, TX, on Friday, December 1, 2023 at 6-8 pm at Krestridge Funeral Home followed by a graveside service with Sanders Funeral Home in Lubbock, TX on December 2, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center or the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (

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Past Services


Friday, December 1, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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