June 29, 1927 to March 25, 2019: is survived by his wife of 69 years, Elaine Marie Karr of Greeley, Colorado; his sons and daughters-in-law, William (Bill), Jr. and Sondra Karr of Windsor, Colorado and Robert and Nadine Karr of Omaha, Nebraska; granddaughters Heidi Sleper (Adam) of Wheaton, Illinois, Jaime Short (Justin) of Omaha, Nebraska, and Gwen Karr of Holiday, Florida; great-grandchildren Kalen, Sabrina, Isabelle, and Cameron Short and Jamison and Clara Sleper; and, several nieces and nephews.
Bill was born in Gothenburg, Nebraska to Elwin "Snub" and Vida Karr. During his school years he excelled in football, basketball, track, and decathlon sports. Bill enlisted in the Navy after his junior year in high school and served on LST 1047 and PGM 11 in the South Pacific during WWII. After the war, Bill returned to the States and graduated with the class of 1946. He later met and married Elaine Viig of Lexington, Nebraska on January 1st, 1950.
While raising two sons, Bill had a career as a retail purchaser and manager. His career spanned more than forty years with Montgomery Ward and Gibson's Discount Centers. The position was an ideal fit because he enjoyed meeting customers, making new friends, and working with people.
Bill loved the outdoors and passed along that love to his family by camping, water skiing, snow skiing and fishing. He was industrious and creative. For example, when Bill wanted his family to take up boating and didn't have the money to buy a boat, he built one. We named it Liki Tiki. It didn’t leak. On the contrary, Liki Tiki was a beauty to behold with its wooden hull and gleaming mahogany deck. That boat provided endless fun and was treasured by the family for many years.
Bill retired from Gibson's in 1989. On a leap of faith, Bill and Elaine bought a 5th wheel RV and sold their home in North Platte, Nebraska. They traveled around the United States for 12 years, seeing new places and making new friends. Occasionally they ventured overseas to visit family and friends. No matter where they went though, if it was football season and it was Saturday, they would find a place to watch or listen to the Nebraska Cornhusker game. When Bill's eyesight began to fail, they settled in Tucson, Arizona where they lived for 12 years surrounded by old friends, new friends, and a warmer climate.
Bill and Elaine moved to Greeley, Colorado in 2014 to be closer to family. In May 2015 Bill and his friend Howard Johnston went on an Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Bill considered the Honor Flight as the patriotic adventure of a lifetime. Bill considered his service to his country as the honor of a lifetime.
Bill passed away quietly in his home surrounded by his wife and sons on the morning of March 25, 2019. He was 91.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Humane Society.
A graveside service with military honors and inurnment 11:00 a.m. Monday April 29, 2019 at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, 12004 S Spur 56a, Maxwell, Nebraska, 69151.