Robert M Karls

Robert M Karls

MADISON/WAUNAKEE – Robert “Bob” Mathias Karls, age 85, of Madison, died peacefully on December 12, 2016 surrounded by his loving family.

He was born in Waunakee, Wisconsin, son of Anton and Emma (Meffert) Karls, on January 23, 1931.

Bob grew up with his siblings in Waunakee and was very proud to be a graduate of Waunakee High School (Class of ’49), where he created and named the first Whi-pur-wauna yearbook. After serving stateside in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, Bob moved to Endicott, New York, where he started his 34-year career with IBM. In Endicott, he met his wife, Regina “Jean” (Clark) and the two married on November 26, 1955. They had four children and lived in both Endicott and White Plains, New York.

Upon early retirement from IBM, Bob and his family returned to his roots and began a new career in the Waunakee area at Valley Bank. A second retirement offered him and his wife the opportunity to winter in Sun Lakes, Arizona, and summer on Lake Wisconsin. No matter the locale, Bob and Jean found a Catholic parish to belong to and enjoy daily Masses.

In addition to a devout spiritual practice, Bob was, simply put, happy and content to be surrounded by family. He was actively involved and interested in all of his children’s activities. When Bob wasn’t extolling the praises of his children and grandchildren, he could be found fixing things, inventing new ways to fix things, applying for patents, playing golf or euchre, reading, or -a dedicated passion- doing the New York Time crossword puzzle…in ink. Bob made a mean pie crust and he loved sweets and black coffee.

Bob was very proud of his status as a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus and held various officer positions.

His is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean; daughter Jeannie (Mark) Leibovitz of Topsfield, Massachusetts, daughter Maureen (Gary) Kline of Brackney, Pennsylvania, son Robert “Bobby” (Doug Zander) of Madison, Wisconsin, and son William “Billy” (Ann Levihn) of Madison, Wisconsin; siblings Bernette O’Connor, Agnes (Jack Leonard), Jim (Jan), Paul (Elaine), Stan (Kim), Barbara (Bob Justl) and Jane (John Hartmann); grandchildren Andrew, Kate, Lauren, Kimberly and Max; and great-grandchildren Madeline, Claire, Everett and Caroline; along with several nieces, nephews, cousins and additional relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Mary and brother Tony; Jean’s parents, James and Helen Clark; and brothers-in-law James Clark, Jr. and Harold O’Connor.

A Mass of Christian Burial will held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 401 S. Owen Dr, Madison on Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 11am. A visitation will be held from 10am until the time of Mass. A luncheon will follow Mass. Burial will be held at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Waunakee at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Robert’s name to the Catholic Multi Cultural Center or Agrace HospiceCare.

Cress Funeral Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
(608) 238-3434

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