Service Details



Thursday, June 27, 2019
10:00 am
Celebration of Life in the Walnut Room
Walnut Ridge Senior Living
1701 Campus Drive
Clive, Iowa


Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines, Iowa


Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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Vernon Karli Vernon “Bud” Allan Karli, 94, of Clive, IA passed away on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Bud, or Doc as he was sometimes known, was born January 22, 1925, the third of four children born to Ruth (Allan) and Arthur Karli. He grew up on a farm near Valley Springs, South Dakota where he attended a one-room school house until the age for high school. He chose to attend a high school in Brookings, SD that met from October-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, MN 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, CA 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, Betsy and Bud settled in Mabel, MN 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, IA in 1971 where they lived for eight years while their children attended college and began their careers. Bud and Betsy then moved to Bella Vista, AR in 1979 where Bud began work as an Inspector-In-Charge for United States Department of Agriculture’s Food, Safety & Inspection Service in Decatur, AR.

Bud retired in 1988 and with Betsy, 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 also enjoyed the challenge of improving daily living tasks. For example, when he became dizzy looking up to retrieve and fill a birdfeeder, he rigged up pulleys and rope to lower the bird feeder to accommodate filling. In his woodworking shop in the walk out basement, there was a sliding door that he connected to a radio so that it would play while the door was unlocked. Once the door was locked, the radio stopped playing. It was his way of reminding himself to lock that basement door.

He loved the outdoors and often knew (and kept secret) the locations of wild asparagus, mushrooms and hickory nuts. During his days of driving the country roads in Minnesota and Iowa as a veterinarian, he would sometimes spot ‘old car’ parts on the farms he was called to and was able to secure enough parts to restore and re-assemble Ford model A and T cars.

One of his early projects was building a houseboat, Hi-Hopes, in his office garage in Mabel, which he successfully launched and enjoyed summer days on the sandbars along the Mississippi River outside of Brownsville, MN. Coincidentally, Bud allowed that garage to be used for various community activities. High-schoolers, for example, could build floats for parades in the garage, the Lions Club could meet there to socialize at the end of each Steam Engine Day celebration, and the space served as the storage site for seasonal Pioneer seed corn and the Girl Scout cookies.

Bud is survived by his daughter, Susan (Frank) Stork of Urbandale, IA and his son, Steven (Jane) Karli of Ankeny, IA; son-in-law, Mark Rodman of Fountain Valley, CA; six grandchildren, Abigail (Andrew) Hartnett, St. Louis, MO, Dr. Natalie Stork, Kansas City, MO, William (Caroline) Stork, San Bruno, CA, Michael (Stefanie) Stork, Arlington, VA, Douglas Karli, Las Vegas, NV and Jennifer Karli, Ankeny, IA; five great-grandchildren, Mason, Peter, Catherine, Henry and Lillian; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Betsy, his daughter Anne (Mark) Rodman, and his brothers, Harold, Lester and Merle.

The family would like to extend their gratitude for the care he received through Walnut Ridge Senior Living, Deerfield Retirement Community, Iowa Methodist Medical Center and MercyOne Hospice.

There will be a Celebration of Life in the Walnut Room at Walnut Ridge Senior Living, 1701 Campus Drive, Clive, Iowa, on Thursday June 27, at 10:00 am.

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He was very proud of service to this country and support of veterans. In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made to the VFW Post 11517, P.O. Box 16 Waukee, IA 50263-0016.