Karl E. Momsen
September 14, 1923 – April 17, 2018
On April 17, 2018 Karl Ervin Momsen passed quietly from this earth at the age of 94. Parents were Lorenz and Auguste Momsen of Everly, Iowa. His parents both immigrated to Iowa from northern Germany in 1909. He is also preceded in death by his sister, Helen Mori Anderson, and his brothers, Edward and Harold.
Karl was raised in Everly and was drawn into the family rendering business when his father passed away while Karl was in high school. He played on his high school baseball team, the Everly Cattlefeeders, who in 1939 were crowned State Champions of Iowa. Karl also played on the basketball team.
Because of the importance of the rendering business to the war effort, Karl initially remained in Everly. His profound sense of loyalty to his country was strong, and on July 29, 1944 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, his landing craft deposited his Company, E-2-7 1st Mar Div, on the beach of Okinawa in the second wave. While fighting on Okinawa, he took a bullet through his chest, exiting his back. With no medics available, he packed the wound with mud and did what any Marine would do – he fought on. He was en route to Japan when hostilities ended after the dropping of the atomic bomb. They were diverted to China and served there until July 1946. To his dying day, Karl lived by the training and loyalty instilled in him as a Marine. His Purple Heart medal will always remind us of these traits.
Upon returning from WWII, he resumed assisting his mother with the family business and eventually started his own trucking company. The business grew, and at its peak had terminals in eleven states. Karl traveled extensively for business and had an enviable talent for keeping in touch with those he met, making life-long friends of many. To facilitate his travels, Karl earned his pilot’s license and subsequently purchased an airplane.
In 1958 he married Inez Grace Eeten of Spencer, Iowa, a stewardess for American Airlines. In 1974, Karl suddenly found himself a widower, with three young children at home. Never one to shun a challenge, he devoted his life to his children. Not once was he not there for each and every one of us. His loyalty has been exemplary, and in the credo of the Marines – he “fought on”.
Karl’s German heritage played an important role throughout his entire life. Never liking it when referred to as “a stubborn German,” he would correct the verbiage to “firm.” He worked steadfastly to retain a tract of family property in the northern part of Germany, believing it was his duty to keep some portion of his heritage rooted in the “motherland.” Equally as influential throughout his entire life was his Marine Corps experience. Karl’s service on Okinawa is a part of recorded history at the National Museum of the Pacific War, in Fredericksburg, Texas. He attended the by-invitation-only opening of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. He participated in the Heartland Honor Flight, flying to Washington with fellow veterans. He would have joined his fellow Marines in more recent battles if his age had not been a deterrent.
Karl was an avid hunter throughout his life. His passion and devotion to nature and all that God has given was unyielding, as was his commitment to God and his church. Morning Star Lutheran Church provided a lifetime of fulfillment and support.
Karl’s devotion to family quickly extended to his granddaughters. The pleasure he derived from their presence cannot be described. He will be deeply missed, every hour of every day. Karl is survived by his son, Scott (daughters Gracie and Hanna, and their half-sister Abbey); his son, Bradley (daughters Marin and Pradnia); and his daughter, Kari Demond (husband Walter) of Austin, Texas. He is also survived by his steadfast and loving companion of many years, Donna Menolascino.
Throughout his life, Karl was the friend you could count on when needed, the father who taught us how to walk through life with our heads held high, and the Marine who landed on Okinawa when his country needed him.
May you have the peace, dear father, of which you are so deserving. We will always celebrate your life, knowing you did it God’s way.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 26th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel. SERVICES Friday, April 27th at 10am at Morning Star Lutheran Church, 331 S. 85th Ave. with military honors. Interment, Lone Tree Cemetery in Everly, IA. In lieu of flowers, memorials are sugggested to Wounded Warrior Project or Arbor Day Foundation.