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Karly's Memories

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BC: Today a Blossom Tomorrow Scattered by the Wind Such is our Fragile Life Take Heart in Knowing That a Life Well Lived Will Last in Memory, Forever -Christina Brewer Kahrs


1: We thought of Karly with love today, But that is nothing new. We thought about him yesterday. And the days before that too. We think of him in silence. We often speak his name. Now we have our memories. And his picture in a frame. His memory is our keepsake. With which we'll never part. We were so lucky to have him, and he lives on in our hearts.

2: Karl Heinz Kahrs was born February 16, 1931 in Altona,Germany to Albert and Berta Kahrs. He and his beloved sister, Fiedi, grew up during World War II, suffering many of the challenges and deprivations this entailed. He obtained a Diplomkaufmann (M.B.A.) in Business Economics in 1956 from the University of Hamburg. He enjoyed running track and field, playing tennis and skiing. He worked briefly as a journalist at a German newspaper and in management for Shell Oil. He married Ilse in 1957. Their son Till was born in 1958. Karl, Ilse and Till emigrated to the United States in 1959. Karl worked for a year at a steel plant in Salt Lake City and then took a position teaching at the U.S. Army Language School in Monterey. Several years later, he enrolled in graduate school at U.C. Santa Barbara. He earned an M.A. in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1970 in political science. Karl was appointed as Assistant Professor of Political Science, and promoted to Associate Professor and then Professor at Cal State Fullerton, beginning in 1969. | Karl H. Kahrs

3: During his tenure on campus, he not only taught but also wrote or co-authored two books, numerous articles and book reviews, and served on two publication advisory boards. He traveled to Germany as a Fulbright Scholar in 1993, served as a resident director for the USUF International Program in Heidelberg, Germany and was a visiting professor at universities in Lancaster, England and Hamburg, Germany. Karl retired and was awarded emeritus status in 1994 by Cal Sate Fullerton and continued to teach for several more years. Karl met Chris Brewer in 1978. They were married in 1985 forming a family with her two daughters, Allyson and Andrea. They were inveterate travelers, having visited all seven continents and most of the states in the world. Karl relished his role as "Opa" to his five grandchildren, Emma, Cole, Claire, Hannah and Nathaniel. Karl passed away from complications of Parkinson's disease on August 7, 2011. His thirst for knowledge and education, devotion to exercise, passion for travel, and deep love and concern for his family never wavered. | 1931-2011


7: My dad lived his life "his way" so please celebrate that and hold him close in your heart. He had a rich life and we should all be so lucky. I will remember him as a stern father but one who I always respected and loved nonetheless. He was a kind, giving man, and always had integrity in everything that he did. Remember him and celebrate the truly remarkable life that he had. I will miss him and his smile. -Till

8: PROFESSIONAL LIFE | Karl was truly an extraordinary man, whose rich and full life included so many experiences here and abroad, and whose infectious smile and laugh will remain with me always. -Raphe Sonenshein

9: Karl was not only a colleague but a good friend. Although we didn't agree about much politically, we each recognized a person of integrity and good manners. Karl was not a man of many words but his lively spirit and good nature spoke for itself. One of the ways I will always remember him is by the expressiveness of his facial countenance. His emotions had a way of subtly showing up in his eyes and the arch of his eyebrows. The most lovable thing about him was his laughter. I will always think of him as a real "mensch" in the finest sense of that word. -Vera Simone

10: Karl was a professor whose high standards as well as his geniality were known by all. No one got "a break" from Professor Kahrs. He sat on many Master of Arts oral examination committees where he was infinitely fair, patient, and unwilling to accept anything other than the finest performance from the person being examined. He was a mentor to a number of graduate and undergraduate students who are now members of faculties at several universities and successful high level employees in both private and public institutions. He always worked in departmental affairs with full respect from all of his colleagues. He was the person to whom virtually everyone in the department went to for information and opinion about issues of international politics and European politics, among other things. One of his colleagues commented, "I learned more from Karl than any other colleague." This opinion is shared by all of those who worked with him. -Bruce Wright

11: I always thought of Karl as a true political science professional. He really knew his stuff and was constantly keeping up with political trends in Europe and beyond. His grasp of history and the trends of politics in numerous countries was absolutely startling. Karl was one of those rare ones who required high standards but remained loved by his students. I will miss his warm demeanor and that wonderful sense of humor. -Alan Saltzstein

12: "The friends we meet on the path of life make the trip worth while." | You have lost an energetic, active, interesting and caring partner and we feel with you. Your children and grandchildren have lost a caring grandfather and I have lost an intimate friend. -Siegfried & Hildegunde | We are so glad we were able to share so many good times together: the cruise, the concerts, the celebrations, the good company. We will miss Karl. - Carol & Myron

13: He was a real gentleman. His kindness, intelligence and wit made sure that he will be remembered for a long time. - Di & Jim Gibney

15: When I met my uncle Karl (or "Prof" as I called him) it was always in a vacation type of mood. I very well remember the first time I flew over to L.A. with my parents and brother for a 6 week vacation in 1971. In later years I visited "Prof" with Reiner, my husband. We enjoyed discussing the problems of world politics in an ironical and sarcastic way, and we learned quite a bit from Karl. Although there was always a continent between us, we were somehow close. When we talked on the phone it was as if we had just seen each other a few days ago. Prof, wir werden dich nie vergessen. -Doris & Reiner

16: Karly-Moth, as we affectionately called him, entered our lives during our turbulent teenage years. We had many good times as well as some argumentative and tear-filled times. We were not easy but he was always calm and patient with us. We tested him but his love for our mother was profound. Karly encouraged us to excel academically as well as enrich our lives with delicious food, good wine, sports, theater, opera, symphony, and of course world news and 60 Minutes. A turning point in Ally's relationship with Karl came when she entered his alma-mater UCSB. He immediately started respecting her as an adult and would listen patiently to all her views and opinions. There were many evenings of deep discussions over a wonderful dinner and bottle of wine. Andy's life was forever changed when she spent a year of high-school in England with Karl and mom. This gave her a broader perspective on life and the world. It taught her to be independent and trust herself in traveling around the world. She has them to thank for where she is today. Karly was one of the most generous and charming people we know. He was always concerned about the comfort of others. He enriched our lives and our children's lives in countless ways but most importantly he made our mom immensely happy. -Ally & Andy


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