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Leland's Story

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Leland Meredith Karr was born on February 26, 1931, in the Red Rock area in Marion County, Iowa. He was the ninth of 11 children that were born to Fred and Wilda (Daubenspeck) Karr. Leland grew up on a farm in the Red Rock and Cordova area where he attended Sunday School and received an 8th grade education in the Ben Country School. He then served with the Iowa National Guard for two years. Leland met Frieda Mae Harvey, a daughter of Wesley and Jessie (Heaberlin) Harvey, while learning to dance. On June 30, 1950, they were united in marriage at the United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Iowa. Their wedding ceremony was made special in that Frieda's mother, Jessie, stood up with her and Leland's sister, Ruth Karr, stood up with him. Leland and Frieda raised three wonderful children: Steven Lyn, Sheryl Rae and Gordon Allen. Leland was a workaholic during his life. He delivered Omar bread and Borden's milk. He was a meat cutter at the Super Valu and AC Meat Market in Knoxville for 10 years. He had been a coal miner and was a driver and escort for Trans Iowa. Most importantly, Leland will be remembered as a policeman with the Knoxville Police Department in Knoxville for 25 years. He never met a stranger, and his ornery personality was often reflected through his practical jokes and "colorful" language. "He always made us giggle," said Kathy Harvey, niece and "If you were getting paid to be a pain-in-the-ass, you'd be rich by now", said a Hospice aide. Leland enjoyed jitterbug dancing, bowling and visiting Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Leland enjoyed playing cards, camping and was a fan of John Wayne. He had a John Wayne collection of memorabilia which included dictionaries and he loved to read them, and appreciated Country Western music. In his later years Leland learned to love his Sunday dinners with his grandchildren and enjoyed attending their ball games. On July 31, 2013, Leland became a resident at the Griffin Nursing Center in Knoxville and passed away there, Accura Health Care of Knoxville, on Thursday, March 16, 2017, at the age of 86 years.
Leland is survived by his faithful wife for almost 67 years, Frieda and their three children and seven grandchildren. They are:
Steve Karr of Knoxville, Iowa
Scott and Bobbi Karr
Eric and Becca Karr
(Justin Karr)
Sheryl Karr of Ankeny, Iowa
Christopher and Shannon Mart
Carey and Shawn Gilchrist
Josh and Melissa Estabrook
Gordon and Diane Karr of Robinson, Texas
Kyle Karr
Leland's family has grown to include nine great-grandchildren: Tyra Villalobos, Halle Gilchrist, Josie Mart, Brenna Mart, Cameron Estabrook, Makenzie Karr, Ava Karr, Morgan Karr, and Bryson Karr. Of his original family of ten siblings, Leland leaves just one sister-in-law, Ruby (Herman) Karr of Knoxville; along with the following brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Marvin 'Sonny' and Pat Harvey of Pleasantville, Iowa, Melvin and Theresa Harvey of Dubuque, Iowa, Bob and Bobbi Harvey of Renwick, Iowa. Leland was preceded in death by his grandson, Justin Karr; his parents, Fred and Wilda Karr; his five brothers: Lester Karr who was killed during World War II, Herman, Merritt, Robert and Orville Karr; his five sisters: Millie Jones, Grace Blagdon, Bonnie Pearson, Ruth Cooney, and Lois Frederking; and a brother-in-law, Ben Harvey.
Published on March 22, 2017
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