Robert “Bob” Karre was born on August 16, 1938 in Horace (Greeley County), Nebraska to Howard Gailard Karre and Gladys Snell Karre and “flew west” from this life on February 13, 2021 at the age of 82 years and 6 months.
Bob grew up in north central Nebraska as the first of five children. He graduated from Burwell High School in 1955 and convinced his parents to let him enlist in the U.S. Air Force on March 13, 1956 at the age of seventeen. After basic training, he became an air traffic controller. Seven years later he entered Officer Candidate School from Chateauroux, France. After he graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant, he earned his pilot wings at Laughlin AFB, TX on March 18, 1964.
Bob faithfully served his country. Following pilot training, he remained at Laughlin as an instructor pilot for 4 years. In 1968, he was assigned to fly the A-1 Skyraider in Southeast Asia and flew over 250 missions. After finishing his Vietnam tour in March 1970, Bob rose up the officer ranks as a T-39 and T-38 instructor pilot, Air Liaison Officer (ALO), and NATO exercise planner to include two European tours at HQ V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany and HQ Allied Forces Central Europe in Brunssum, the Netherlands. After 6 years in Europe, he returned to Shaw AFB, SC, as an Air Liaison Officer assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, NC. In preparation for that tour, he attended jump school and made 30 parachute jumps with various Army units. Bob retired as a Colonel after 31 years of honorable service.
His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross with one silver and two bronze oak leaf clusters, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal with three silver oak leaf clusters, Presidential Unit Citation, AF Outstanding Unit Award with two oak leaf clusters & valor device, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with three bronze service stars, and parachutist badge.
Bob married Janice Richards, an Air Force nurse from Hialeah, FL, on March 19, 1964 - the day after graduating from pilot training. They enjoyed nearly 57 years together and raised three children. During that time, they moved often as they followed his various assignments in the Air Force. After Bob retired in 1987, they returned to their home in Converse, TX.
Bob continued to serve after his military career as a teacher for special needs children for 8 years, as the editor/publisher for the Order of Daedalians, a fraternal order of military pilots, and on scholarship committees for Kiwanis and various other organizations and on the City Council of Converse, Texas. In December 2009, Bob and Janice moved next door to the Army Residential Community in San Antonio, TX, and were much-loved members of the ARC family.
Bob loved his family and serving others in his community. Bob was the guy who would always help others when he saw a need. He was beloved by all who were blessed to know him.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents Howard and Gladys Karre, and his brother Henry Karre. Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Janice, of 56 years; his sister, Ruby Ogden; his brothers, Gerald Karre and Dennis Karre and wife, Toni; his daughter, Debra Mathews and husband, Jeff; his sons, Raymond Karre and wife, Beckie and Howard Karre and wife, Kasia; and grandchildren, Robert Karre, Jared Mathews, Jordan Mathews, Brittany Karre, Jacob Karre, and Kayleigh Karre; and numerous nephews, nieces and friends.
Visitation will be held from 10:30am-12:30pm on Thursday, March 18th, at Colonial Funeral Home, 625 Kitty Hawk Rd, Universal City, TX, with the funeral service immediately following at 12:30pm. Father Charles Henderson and Lt Gen (Ret) Brett Dula will be presiding. Burial with full military honors will follow at 2:15pm, Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery, San Antonio, TX. Services will be livestreamed -please refer to www.colonialuniversal.com for further details on joining the services virtually.
The family extends a special thanks for the wonderful care and support of the medical teams and staffs of the Army Residential Community and Brooke Army Medical Center. If desired, friends can make memorial contributions to the ARC Kiwanis Foundation, C/O Charlet Little, 8116 Quebec Drive, San Antonio, TX, 78239-3010. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.colonialuniversal.com.