Junior Rudolph Karas

May 22, 1933 ~ July 1, 2017

Junior passed away on Saturday, July 1, 2017 after a battle with liver cancer. He was born on May 22, 1933 in Pawnee City, Nebraska, to Rudolph and Julia (Kostecka) Karas. Junior attended school in Table Rock, graduating from Table Rock High School with the Class of 1951. He was an athlete in high school competing in football, basketball and track. At one time he held the Nebraska state record for the hurdles. In the fall of 1951, Junior attended Peru State Teacher’s College. He was working on a degree in Music Education. Junior was also an accomplished saxophone and clarinet player. He played in various bands throughout the area. In 1953, the Korean War interrupted his college education. He was assigned to the 97th army band. After his service, he finished his teaching degree in 1956. On May 27th, 1956, he married Virginia Ann Ruzicka from Burchard, Nebraska. From 1956 – 1960, he taught music at the Liberty, Barneston, and Johnson Schools in NE. In 1960, the family moved to Woodlin School in Colorado where he taught music until 1969. He also worked for the Small Schools Project traveling around the state. In 1969, the family moved to Fort Morgan where Junior taught vocal music at the middle school and eventually at Columbine Elementary School where he started the Columbine Singers and implemented puppet shows as part of his teaching. He was a member of the Helpmobile Teaching Team. In 1990, he retired from teaching. During retirement, Junior loved to fish, play golf, camp in his 5th wheel, travel the country with Virginia on their Honda motorcycle, and he always enjoyed a good game of cribbage. Junior and Virginia would also share their instrumental music with the community through church and senior housing facilities and he was a volunteer with the Caring Ministries Organization. Junior is survived by his wife, Virginia Ann Karas. His children, James (Nancy) Karas of Granby, Colorado, Jeff (Gale) Karas of Loveland, Jon (Terri) Karas of Fort Morgan, and Janelle (John) Woods of Atlanta, Georgia. Grandchildren are Ryan (Kristi) Karas of Omaha, Jennifer Hall of Frisco, Texas, Jacob Karas of Highlands Ranch, Logan Karas of Loveland, Trista (Chris) Cobbley of Fort Morgan, Nicole Karas of Fort Morgan, Daron, Zackary, and Dominick Blaylock and Ashton Woods of Atlanta, Georgia, Audriana (Grant) Packard of Colorado Springs, Makayla Stark of Wiggins, his great-grandson, Camden Karas of Omaha, his sister-inlaw Margaret Karas, and nephews Dave (Teri) Karas and Joel (Gerri) Karas of Omaha. Junior is preceded in death by his son Joseph Karas, granddaughter Jennifer Sampson, his brother Edwin Karas and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. RV Karas. Junior was a member of the Masonic Order of Pawnee Lodge No. 23 and The Order of the Eastern Star Garden City Chapter #3, Greeley. Memorial Services will be Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 10:30 am at the Immanuel Evangelical Church in Fort Morgan. Services will conclude at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Junior’s name, to the Fort Morgan Education Association Scholarship Fund in care of the Heer Mortuary at 225 E. Platte Avenue, Fort Morgan, Colorado 80701.

 

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