April 30, 2020
Ray Varel Karnatz, 93, the son of William and Jessie (Cassell) Karnatz, was born on Aug. 10, 1926, near Davenport. He died April 26, at the Thayer County Health Services in Hebron.
Ray was baptized at Christ's Lutheran Church in Davenport. He attended Davenport Community School and graduated with the Class of 1944. He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Austria during the Korean War. He attended agriculture school after he returned home.
He married Margaret Gerdes on Feb. 11, 1956.
Ray, a farmer, lived north of Davenport until 1977 when he and the family moved to their home on the Little Blue River south of Davenport. He was a member of Christ's Lutheran Church where he served as councilman. He was an active member of the Davenport American Legion and served as the commander of VFW. He was also a member of the Veterans County Service Board, and would frequently represent the veterans as a commander of Thayer County. From 1983 to 1986 Ray served as Thayer County commissioner, serving on the weed board and Blue Valley Community Action Board. Later Ray drove a school bus for Davenport Community School and because of his pleasant disposition, many of the students grew fond of him.
Ray and Margaret allowed the Davenport Boy Scout Troop 333 to host their camp on their land for many years. He especially enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in sporting events, traveling to many games. When Father's Day came around, he found it necessary for everyone to don leather gloves and heavy boots to tromp around the pasture and cut thistles.
Ray was known best for growing sweet corn. He could be found alongside Margaret cutting off kernels. During the Thayer County Fair, Ray could often be located with a lucky bingo card at the Lion's stand. Besides being a loving father, he was well liked by all and always had a joke or funny story ready.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William and Jessie; son, Brian Karnatz; brother, Lovelle Karnatz; sister, Rhoda Belle Lowery; sister, Ruby Lonsdale; nephews, Stanley Lowery, Darwin Lonsdale; and niece, Kathy Karnatz.
Ray will be missed by many friends and family. He is survived by his wife, Margaret Karnatz of Davenport; daughter, Joanne Erickson and her husband, Keith, of Gilbert, Ariz .; daughter, Nancy Schlautman and her husband, Neal, of Saronville; daughter, Lisa Karnatz of Phoenix, Ariz .; and son, Bruce Karnatz of Kearney. Ray leaves behind grandsons, Kirk Erickson and wife, Brittany and daughter, Charlotte, and son, Bear, of Gilbert, Ariz .; Austin Karnatz and Brian Splater, and son, Jaxon, and daughter, Ellie, of Superior; Taylor Schlautman and wife, Kayla, and son, Benjamin, and daughter, Josephine, of Wahoo; and Cody Stadler of Minden; granddaughters, Mackenzie Bartek and husband, Kyle, and daughters Siena and Tatum of Lincoln, Neb .; Neale Goldsberry and husband, Garrett, of Davey; and Sydney Stadler and fiance, Chase, of Kearney.
Gravesite funeral and interment services will be held at 10:30 a.m., today (Thursday), at the Davenport City Cemetery by the Megrue-Price Funeral Home of Davenport with Pastor Connie Raess officiating.
Music will be "How Great Thou Art" and "I Can Only Imagine."
Pallbearers will be Kirk Erickson, Austin Karnatz, Taylor Schlautman, Cody Stadler, Craig Lowery, Richard Lowery and Dennis Karnatz.
Honorary pallbearers will be Neal Schlautman and Keith Erickson.
Memorials can be made to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date.
Condolences may be sent to Megrue-Price Funeral Home, 750 N Commercial, Superior, Neb. 68978 or in care of http://www.pricefuneralhomes. com.
Megrue-Price Funeral Home of Superior is in charge of the arrangements.