Robert Gary Karrh, 86, of Amarillo, TX went to his heavenly home on January 22, 2022. Services were held on January 26, 2022, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel. Arrangements were by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Robert or “Bob” was born to Myrtle and Rayburn Karrh in Hale Center, Texas on June 24, 1935. He grew up on a cotton farm with his 4 sisters and attended school in Hale Center. His experiences growing up on the farm led to many interesting stories about working long days of milking cows, feeding animals, cutting pigs, plowing, irrigating, and harvesting. He showed pigs, steers, and other animals winning grand champion with several animals. His parents taught him the value of hard work and the heritage of the family. He was very proud to still have many of the China pieces his mother painted that are displayed in his home to this day.
Bob played football, basketball, and was a “Golden Glove” boxer in Hale Center. In high school, he had wired his car so that he could shock the passenger seat forcing the girls to sit next to him. His sisters also confirm this prankster side of Bob. His sister Gail reports that he helped her break both collar bones, once by convincing her to ride her tricycle down the steps. The other time he was chasing her through the strawberry patch. She says he thoroughly enjoyed watching her being charged by the cows! He and his sister Betty Ray argued daily over who got to pick the radio program. She always wanted to hear the big bands, but he insisted on listening to a cowboy western. His sister Margene tells a story of a time they went to visit their dad in the hospital. Their dad cried upon seeing her walk into his room. Bob commented, “Dad, she’s not that ugly now, is she?” His sister Kay remembers him as being extremely generous to everyone. He was always willing to take her anywhere she wanted to go. Free time on the farm was often spent in dirt-clod fights between Bob versus his sisters around the 2 silos on the property. All sisters would agree that he “threatened” them not to ever tell their parents about his antics.
In his junior year in high school, he met the love of his life, Susie Hughes. His senior year he was chosen as class president. He and his sweetheart, Susie, were featured in the yearbook as being voted by their classmates as “Mr and Miss Most Popular”. He went on to play football at West Texas A&M. During his college summers he held many jobs from constructing metal buildings to fighting forest fires in Idaho. He later transferred to Texas Tech and attained a civil engineering degree from Texas Tech. Bob and Susie continued their long-term relationship for 9 years before marrying on April 3, 1960.
In his early years, he worked for International Harvesters. Bob then worked for the Bureau of Reclamation assisting with multiple water projects throughout the United States including Hoover Dam and Lake Meredith. While working in Nebraska, his daughter Kim was born. He later was transferred to Lubbock, Texas where he supervised the Canadian River Authority Project in Lubbock, Texas. It was here that his son Gary was born and where the family resided for 12 years. In Lubbock as a member of the Monterey Optimist organization, he helped to start a “Little Dribblers” youth program for 1500 10-year-old kids. His club also rode with the police to help battle crime in the city of Lubbock.
Later he went back to work for the Bureau of Reclamation, transferring him and his family to Amarillo. He spent hours obtaining a certification to dive and inspected numerous dams and waterways.
The family moved to Lake Tanglewood in 1976. It was here that they raised their two children. Both kids attest that their parents made it to watch every one of their basketball, track, and tennis games. Bob definitely modeled for them a sense of adventure. He enjoyed skydiving, hunting, fishing, tennis, waterskiing, and snow skiing. His love for pranks continued even when he would travel for work. He made sure when he brought his lunchbox home and set it on the counter that it contained a live souvenir from the day such as a snake, horned toad, lizard, or even a spider. Susie grew to expect this and would open the lunchbox very carefully!
After leaving the Bureau, he purchased Playcation Pools, where he spent many years building swimming pools. Following the pool business, he consulted on numerous engineering projects. He then finished his career working at the Pantex Plant, a facility where nuclear weapons are maintained, evaluated, and dismantled. Kim and Gary deeply appreciate the strong work ethic and quick-witted thinking their dad displayed throughout his jobs.
Bob was a kind, generous man who loved the Lord and believed in helping his community. He served as chairman of the Lake Tanglewood Church board. He enjoyed his time being a member of the Lion’s Club and their many activities at the lake. He was a member of the High Plains Food Bank Board of Directors. He helped John Stiff who was instrumental in getting Lake Tanglewood to a constant lake level. He also served as a Randall County Commissioner for 13 years where he supported the 4-H program. He took great delight in supporting his grandchildren’s activities. He was an avid Texas Tech Red Raider fan and equally enjoyed supporting the Dallas Cowboys as one of their loyal fans. His love for farming and ranch equipment stayed solid and his eyes would light up at the sight of a new calf with its momma.
He never met a stranger and would invite anyone he met to enjoy a meal at their home. One of his favorite holidays was the Fourth of July. He encouraged all of the family to come and enjoy the lake festivities with him. Many of them have helped create wonderful memories for us. The holiday he looked the most forward to was Thanksgiving. He couldn’t wait to see extended family at this quite large gathering. Everyone remembers Uncle Bob and his world-famous hugs and his ear-to-ear grin.
Bob and Susie were together 61 years. At one of their granddaughter’s weddings, they proudly received the honor of “THE LONGEST MARRIED COUPLE” in attendance and were featured on the dance floor while the family enjoyed their dancing. Bob’s love of country and western music continued always and if you got into his truck, you too could enjoy some songs on the station WILLIE’s ROADHOUSE.
He is survived by his wife Susie, his daughter Kim, son Gary and his wife Robin. His grandchildren are Audrey and Zack, Taylor, Rachel, Tucker, McKynzie, Zane, and Harlee. He has six great-grandchildren: Camden, Baker, Brooks, Carlie, Cooper, and Jordyn.
The family wishes to express a sincere thank you to Brookdale Senior Living and BSA Hospice for the care and compassion shown to this family during his illness.