My Father’s Passing

Easter Sunday 1986, Mt Christos Crete, Greece. One of Karl’s favorite places.

Karl Eugene Reichle, 83, of Paris, Arkansas stepped from this life into the next on the evening of Sunday, June 9th 2019.

Over the past month, Karl had struggled with heart failure and subsequent illnesses until the constant struggle took its toll and he entered hospice where could feel more at peace with the end of life.

Karl was born 8 July 1935 in the small east Texas town of Era. His parents, Albert and Thelma (Roberts) Reichle owned a Gulf gas station and mechanic garage there. His first home was unpainted, and heated with a single pot-bellied stove. There wasn’t electricity, so it was lit with coal oil lamps. Life was harsh in rural, Depression Era Texas, and from that hardship, he learned to appreciate what he had and not worry too deeply about getting more.

Karl loved his country and served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1957, serving as a part of the occupying forces in Germany and later in Ft. Carson, Colorado. He was proud of his service, and since he is of German ancestry, particularly enjoyed serving in Europe.

After Army service, Karl returned to Texas and in October of 1959, he Married Eloma Roberts; within a year, the two had an only son, Roy Reichle, who after a 20-year career in the Air Force, now resides in the northern Nebraska town of Saint Helena along the Missouri River.

For over a decade, Karl lived with his son Roy, spending two years on the Island of Crete in Greece, four years at Kapaun Air Station, near Kaiserslautern, Germany, and three years at Offutt AFB, Nebraska. The two of them camped, caved, backpacked, and rock climbed all over the world together. From those experiences, Karl learned how to challenge himself and be adventurous. He sorely missed those days when he could lounge at a village on the southern shores of Crete or ride his mountain bike from the coastal plain to the crest of the hills overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The tiny port of Loutro on Crete’s southern shore. One of Karl’s favorite places in the world. The only way there is on foot or by boat.

Once Roy retired from service and married his wife Brenda, Karl moved to Arkansas to find a home for himself. After a few failed landings, he finally came to roost in Paris. In his apartment complex he was known for being a friend to all the kids. He spent hours on his porch telling the children stories or just talking. He’d also throw the football or kick a soccer ball. Years later, after some of those kids grew up, they sometimes approached him and thanked him for his help. He left a fine legacy of service right to the end of his life.

Karl will be missed, as he should be, but more than anything—he should be followed in the way he served. St. Augustine said we are made by and for our Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in him. Rest in Him, Karl. Sleep in the peaceful dreams of God.