Richard L. Karl, Captain, USN, retired (1916-2014) Richard Karl was born on May 16, 1916 near Munich, Germany. His parents Matilda and Johan Karl brought him and his two brothers to Ellis Island when they immigrated to the U.S. in 1923. The family settled in upstate NY where Richard worked from an early age helping his parents with farming chores and attended the Liverpool school system from 1st - 12th grades where he learned English, lettered in 4 sports and played the violin. He met his wife Betty Crandall who would become his wife of 73+ years. Upon graduation from high school, Richard enlisted in the US Navy and was sent to sea for 2 years aboard the USS Nevada while he studied for the entrance exams to the Naval Academy. He was one of few to make the qualifying grades entering the Academy in 1936. At the academy, Richard (nicknamed "Stormy" by Butch O'Hare, a WWII hero and namesake of the Chicago airport) played violin in the orchestra and lettered in track winning the javelin throw at the Penn Relays. Upon graduation in 1940, Richard married his long-time sweetheart, Betty. After commissioning, he was sent to train sailors in Norfolk, VA with Jack Dempsey, the heavy weight boxing champion where their son, Richard, Jr. was born. Next tour was Orange, Texas where he was involved with the supervision of ship building for the war effort; the shipyard producing a ship every 2 days for about 18 months. Their daughter, Karen, was born there in 1943. After WWII was over, he was selected for graduate school at MIT where he earned a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Professional Degree in Naval Engineering. A tour in Japan during the Korean War followed and a tour in Guam kept him in the S. Pacific. He worked on the first nuclear submarine system under Admiral Rickover in Washington, DC and then went to the Charleston, SC Naval Shipyard to work on the first Polaris submarine tender before assuming command of the Ship Repair Facility in Subic Bay, PI. Back to Washington, DC where he was the Deputy Inspector General for the Bureau of Ships, USN and a final tour in Bath, England to supervise shipbuilding. Following retirement from the Navy, he was department head of Mechanical Engineering at Chattanooga State Technical Institute and then moved to Charleston, SC where he continued his teaching at Trident Tech College (as curriculum chairman he earned accreditation for Mechanical Engineering). He returned to playing violin in the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and singing in the choir for the Unitarian Church where he generously supported the restoration of the historic building. Following his teaching career, he went with the International Executive Service Corps to consult in the development of a hydroelectric power plant for the Korea Tacoma Marine Industry. He lived in Charleston until March, 2011 when he and Betty moved to Independence Hall assisted living to be closer to the family in Fort Lauderdale. Richard was known for his charitable generosity to his beloved Naval Academy, Hillsdale College, the Unitarian Church in Charleston, SC, and the Wounded Warriors among many of his favorite charities and to his grandchildren and great grandchildren for whom he provided college educations. He is survived by his wife, Betty, and their two children, Richard (Sang Mae) and Karen (George Moraitis), grandchildren: the Honorable George Moraitis, Jr, State Representative, (Heather) and Alexandra Moraitis Orman (Scot), Sam Karl (Ellen) and four great grandchildren: Alexis and Catherine Moraitis, Olivia and John Orman. Memorial services will be planned at a future date. Arrangements entrusted to Kalis-McIntee Funeral Home, Wilton Manors, FL. Online condolences at KalisMcIntee.com.
Published in Sun-Sentinel from May 17 to May 18, 2014