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Karl Heinz Eymert


1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Karl Heinz Eymert Obituary
Karl Heinz Eymert

Karl Heinz Eymert died peacefully on Dec. 29, 2017 in Flagstaff. He was 89. Karl, a well-known ranger with the U.S. Forest Service in the San Bernardino National Forest and a member of the Redlands YMCA, was a long-time resident of Redlands and Yucaipa. Born in Konigsberg, Germany on July 16, 1928, he developed a love of nature and the U.S. from reading poetry and novels and from his grandmother. He endured World War II. Karl's father, a devoutly religious man who refused to fly the Nazi flag, was sent to the Russian Front. Karl, the oldest of three children, helped his mother with the family. He hid so he could listen to radio news from the BBC, as the family knew that the Nazi Party fabricated information and disguised it as "news." Karl's mother, sister and brother fled during the Prussian evacuation in the winter of 1945. At 16, Karl was forced to join the Volkssturm, a "people's" militia established by the Nazis, or be shot. He was captured by Russians, but escaped. Karl found his family in Altenwalde, Germany. They settled in a refugee barrack in Nordholz. Karl got a job at the U.S. Army-operated Nordholz Air Base. He befriended Arthur L. Smith, an American soldier, who married Karl's sister, Jutta. Smith became a sponsor, allowing Karl to come to Southern California in 1952. His parents and brother soon followed. He worked at the Sealright factory in Los Angeles and then joined the U.S. Army in 1954. Stationed in Berlin, Germany at Checkpoint Charlie, he served as interpreter, military police and courier. In Berlin, he met Eva Fröhlich. The two married, had three children and the lived in the San Bernardino Mountains. He started with the U.S. Forest Service in 1964. The family moved to Yucaipa in 1966 after Karl was promoted and stationed at the Mill Creek Ranger Station. He transferred to the district headquarters in San Bernardino, briefly worked in Shaver Lake, and returned to San Bernardino. He retired in 1982. He and Eva divorced, but remained friends until her death in 1989. After retirement, Karl joined the Peace Corps and lived in Costa Rica for two years. He returned to Redlands and later moved to Sedona, Ariz., where he worked as a tour guide. Karl traveled extensively: Guatemala, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada. The highlight of his adventures was hiking the 500-mile Camino de Santiago from France to Spain at the age of 76. Karl spoke German, English and Spanish fluently.
Karl is survived by his children: Andrew and Sury Eymert and Karin Marriott of Yucaipa; Susanne Bailey of Flagstaff, Ariz.; sister Jutta Smith and her husband, Dr. Arthur L. Smith, of Dana Point, Calif.; brother Peter Eymert of La Habra, Calif.; nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; and many dear friends.
The family is holding a service in Arizona. In lieu of flowers, please go into nature. Breathe. Organize a trash clean up. Smile. Read Goethe and Schiller. Even if others don't look like you or think like you, understand we are connected. Meditate. Have gratitude for this life. Sing. Loudly. Dance. Wildly. Give thanks to this planet. Pray. Thank God. Donate to the Nature Conservancy, Grand Canyon Trust, NPR or PBS. Volunteer with the San Gorgonio Wilderness Association. Recycle. Learn a new language. Break down barriers. Did we say smile? He did. And we loved him for it.
Published in Redlands Daily Facts on Jan. 4, 2018
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