Harold Karspeck, 101, of Goodland, Kansas passed away peacefully January 4, 2022 at the Goodland Regional Medical Center with his family by his side.
Harold was born October 27, 1920 in Syracuse, NE. He was the son of Henry and Elizabeth Karspeck, the youngest of ten children. Harold was baptized into the Christian faith at the Delaware Country Church in Nebraska. His family farmed near Syracuse, Nebraska until Harold was six years old and then moved to a farm six miles south of Burlington, Colorado, that his dad built. They moved most of their possessions by boxcar to Colorado. He attended a country school there until the eighth grade. His family mainly spoke German and the school was in English so his teacher told his parents to stop speaking German at home so he would learn English. His family moved to a farm northeast of Burlington in 1937.Dad attended Burlington High School and graduated with the class of 1939. He rode his horse to catch the school bus five miles. In later years he moved up to driving a “striped down” model T and his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Yes, Dad had a Harley!!After graduation, he worked on the family farm with his parents and other places too.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Harold enlisted in the United States Army in July of 1942. He served in the European Theatre with the 168th General Hospital Unit. He was a motor pool sergeant that was in charge of ambulances, trucks and jeeps. The 168th crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the famous Queen Mary ship with Winston Churchill being aboard. The 168th Hospital Unit entered France on the beaches of Normandy the same way it was done on D-Day. Harold was honorably discharged in February of 1946. One time on leave, through his sister, he was introduced to a young lady and they corresponded throughout the war. He married Mary Jane Anthis, the love of his life, December 8, 1946 in Cushing, Oklahoma. They enjoyed 65 years together. To this union three children were born: Steven, Kathy and Roger. Harold and Mary raised their family on the farm northeast of Burlington. They grew wheat, corn, milo and raised cattle. Some of the years were very hard with extreme droughts and terrible hail storms. Their faith enabled them to get through these difficult years. No matter what, Dad always found the time to take his family on fishing trips in the mountains. Harold was not a fisherman, but while we were all out fishing, Dad kept a fire going with a fresh pot of coffee for everyone to enjoy.
Harold was a very active member of First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Burlington. He taught Sunday School and served on church council many times. He helped construct a new church building.
Harold and Mary moved to Goodland on College Street in 1977.They then joined the Goodland United Methodist Church. At this time, they were still involved in the family farm, but now had time to enjoy many cruises and visited numerous foreign countries.
Harold was a lifetime member of the Goodland VFW Post 1133. He served as post chaplain for many years and was very active with the VFW until he broke his hip in 2020. It is believed that Harold was the last surviving WWII veteran in Sherman County.
Those preceding him in death were his wife Mary Karspeck, daughter Kathy Scott, his parents, siblings Agnes Tonsing, Hilda James, Ruby Tonsing, Omar Karspeck, Irene Skidmore, Edna Krebs and three who died in infancy.
Survivors include his sons Steven (JoAnn) Karspeck of Hoehne, CO; Roger (Deena) Karspeck of Burlington, CO; and son-in-law Bill (Jeanne) Scott of Gold Canyon, AZ; six grandchildren, fourteen great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews.