Robert Irving KARR
Courtesy of Ari Phoutrides

Robert Irving Karr

Robert Irving KARR, 87, passed away Thursday, June 9, 2011 at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington.

Bob was born April 10, 1924 in Shirley, West Virginia to Ivan and Mary Karr and grew up near Mannington, WV with his older sister, Kathleen (Kitty) and younger sister, Virginia (Corky). Bob, in his youth, loved to hunt, trap, and fish. He graduated from Mannington high school in 1942.

He joined the
U.S. Navy in June of 1943 and served as a gunner's mate aboard the USS Laffey during the D-Day campaign and later in the Pacific. At the battle for Okinawa, the Laffey survived a brutal kamikaze attack and was returned to Seattle, Washington for repairs.

A striking brunette, Ardath Benge, met him at the pier where the Laffey was docked and offered to show him the city. Two years later, in June of 1947, they were married. Bob received his mechanical engineering degree from West Virginia University in 1950 and he and Ardath settled in Seattle, WA. He spent his entire career with Smith-Berger Corp. designing equipment for the logging, offshore oil, and fish processing industries.

He retired in 1989 as Vice President of Engineering. Bob's hobbies included designing and building furniture, and gardening. He served as a deacon at West Seattle Christian Church and was a member of the West Seattle Masonic Lodge. He loved pampering his grand and great-grand kids.

Bob is survived by his wife of nearly 64 years, Ardath of Marysville, WA; sister Kathleen Butcher of Fairmont, WV; son Kevan Karr and his wife Erin of Mukilteo, WA; granddaughter Rachel DuPont and husband Matthew of Forest Grove, OR; and their children, Elisabeth, Tessa, Andrew, and Emma; granddaughter JoyLynn Karr of Maricopa, AZ; granddaughter Ruth Miller and her husband Dwight of Marysville, WA; and their children, Ethan, Elijah, Joy, and Fiona.

The family would like to thank the caregivers at Merrill Gardens of Marysville for their kindness and support of Bob and Ardath. In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Children's Orthopedic Hospital, or the USS Laffey Association. A public memorial service for Bob will be held at a future date to be announced. (Photos courtesy of the Daily Herald of Everett)

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