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Robert Payne Karr

1937 - 2020
Robert Payne Karr Obituary
Robert Payne Karr

Robert Payne Karr, 83, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2020 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. Robert, or Bob as he was known to everyone, was born in Seattle on March 6, 1937. His parents, Day Payne and Susan Fitch Karr, raised Bob alongside sisters Susan and Cindy and brother Bill in homes in the city's hilly Madrona and Mount Baker neighborhoods.

Bob attended nearby Franklin High School and the University of Washington, where he met Judith Ann Hazen. They graduated in 1958 and were married in 1960. Son Bob came in '62, Tim in '64, and Brian in '66. In 1969 the family settled on Bainbridge Island. By then, Bob was working alongside his father Day at a prominent Seattle law firm, which is today named Karr Tuttle Campbell.

On Bainbridge, Bob and Judy built a house out of glass, pine and cedar and surrounded it with a garden of rhododendron, salal, huckleberry, dogwood, snap peas and strawberry. They filled it with relatives and new and old friends, who would gather around a central fireplace to listen to Bob's jokes, laugh at some of them, and soak up Judy's hospitality and warmth.

Bob was a man of overwhelming generosity. In the days since his passing, many have come forward with stories about the ways he encouraged them to persevere through hard times, or mentored them at the moments their lives or careers most needed it. Those from broken families looked to him as a father whose steadiness became the glue that held things together. Later during retirement, he served as a founder, board member or trustee for numerous local charities including the Bainbridge Community Foundation, Islandwood and the Bloedel Reserve.

Robert Payne Karr is survived by his wife, Judy, three sons, Bob, Tim and Brian, and their loving spouses and children, Suzanne, Kathy, James, Alexander, Nicholas, Tyler, Willa and Eleanor.

In lieu of flowers & gifts, memorial contributions may be made in Bob's name to the Bainbridge Community Foundation.
Published in The Seattle Times on Mar. 22, 2020
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