Joseph H. Karnes, age 55, of Gardiner.
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Gardiner, Mont. lost a life-long resident on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Joe Karnes was born Aug. 28, 1957 in Livingston, Mont. to James and Ann Karnes. He grew up on their family ranch in Fridley Creek with his brother, Bob and sister, Kari. He went to school and graduated from Gardiner High School. He worked within the surrounding area his entire life holding positions at the mine, several ranches, and most recently with the Montana State Department of Transportation. He was a man with many positive characteristics. He respected a hard day's work and strove to better himself along with everybody around him. The only thing Joe loved more than work was his family and friends. He loved his family with every part of his heart and soul, and did anything he could to help a friend in need. Joe had a gift and that was the gift of happiness and love. He spread happiness and love to anybody he came into contact with. He put a lot of pride in his three sons who respected and loved him dearly. He spent most of his time teaching his three sons all of the same qualities he possessed, which were handed down to him by his mentor, Harold Karnes. He loved his wife unconditionally and worked very hard towards making the best possible life for them on the Yellowstone River where he resided.
He is survived by his wife, Sandy of Gardiner; his three sons, Jim (Elizabeth their daughter, Katie) stationed in Virginia Beach, Va., serving in the U.S. Navy, Jeff (Ryanne) of Olympia, Wash., and Jake of Gardiner serving overseas in the U.S. Marine Corps.; his mother, Ann of Loveland, Colo.; sister, Kari (Gordon) of Loveland, Colo.; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Marge and Al Harlow of Ione, Wash.; numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends; as well as, longtime family friends, Sam and Sue Ward and their two girls, Kayla and Jaqlyn of Emigrant.
A memorial will be held at the Gardiner High School gymnasium at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6 with Clay Willis officiating; a potluck will follow in the school cafeteria.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Friends of the Emigrant Cemetery fund at the American Bank in Livingston.
This fund was set up by Joe after his uncle Harold passed away to help with maintenance and grooming of the cemetery grounds. Arrangements are with Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory. Online condolences available at Franzen-Davis.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 4, 2013