Vernon Karli, 94, once of Mabel

Vernon “Bud” Allan Karli, 94, of Clive, Iowa, died on Thursday, May 30, 2019. 

He was born Jan. 22, 1925, the third of four children born to Ruth (Allan) and Arthur Karli. He grew up on a farm near Valley Springs, S.D., where he attended a one-room schoolhouse until the age for high school. He chose to attend a high school in Brookings, S.D., that met from October to March to accommodate farmers. 

In 1940, at the age of 15, he left home and school to work odd jobs at farms outside of Minneapolis, near one of his brothers. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and was assigned to the Armed Guard to man the anti-aircraft guns on supply or troop ships. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific campaign on three ships: The SS James B Bonham, SS Luxembourg Victory, and the SS Alfred C True. His postwar assignments were to Treasure Island, Calif., and then to Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands. In the evenings, he worked to complete his high school diploma through a military program called USAFI (United States Armed Forces Institute). He also completed correspondence journalism courses through the University of Minnesota. After an honorable discharge in 1949, he started classes at the University of Minnesota and boarded with a family in St. Louis Park. Living next door to this family was Elizabeth Ann Haug (Betsy) who he met and, after a few months of dating, married in September of 1950. He graduated from the University in 1956 with a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. 

After graduation, he and his wife settled in Mabel, where he practiced as the sole veterinarian for the area for 16 years. Together they raised their family of three children, Anne, Susan and Steven. The demands of his veterinarian practice often took precedence over social activities, but during the quieter summer months, he was usually able to participate in the social Thursday nights with his friends at the tri-city golf course, Ma-Cal-Grove. 

When the opportunity arose to join a multi-vet practice, they moved to Waukon, Iowa, in 1971 where they lived for eight years while their children attended college and began their careers. He and his wife then moved to Bella Vista, Ark., in 1979 where he began work as an Inspector-In-Charge for United States Department of Agriculture’s Food, Safety & Inspection Service in Decatur, Ark.

He retired in 1988 and with his wife, spent his early retirement years traveling and visiting family and friends around the country. He loved reading, birding, woodworking, and making things for his children and grandchildren.

He is survived by his daughter, Susan (Frank) Stork of Urbandale, Iowa; his son, Steven (Jane) Karli of Ankeny, Iowa; son-in-law, Mark Rodman of Fountain Valley, Calif.; six grandchildren, Abigail (Andrew) Hartnett of St. Louis, Dr. Natalie Stork of Kansas City, William (Caroline) Stork of San Bruno, Calif., Michael (Stefanie) Stork of Arlington, Va., Douglas Karli of Las Vegas and Jennifer Karli of Ankeny, Iowa; five great-grandchildren, Mason, Peter, Catherine, Henry and Lillian; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Betsy; his daughter, Anne (Mark) Rodman; and his brothers, Harold, Lester and Merle. 

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made to the VFW Post 11517, P.O. Box 16 Waukee, IA 50263-0016.