Ervin T. Karrels, age 95, of South Garfield Avenue, Port Washington, WI passed on to eternal life surrounded by his loving family on July 13, 2017 at Lawlis Family Hospice Center in Mequon. He was born in Chicago, IL on October 4, 1921 to Jacob and Marie (nee Freiman) Karrels. He married Elaine M. Watry of Holy Cross on October 1, 1955 at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Dacada. She preceded him in death on April 23, 2015.

Ervin served in WWII from 1942 to 1945 as a Staff Sergeant in the 8th Army Air Corp. as an Aerial Gunner on a B-24 Bomber. He also served as a Staff Sergeant in the Korean War from 1950-1952 in the 5th Air Force as an Aerial Gunner on a B-26 Bomber. He was thrilled to be a part of the first Honor Flight from Ozaukee County in 2008 and also the Field of Honor at Miller Park in 2012 with his family.

While raising his family in Port Washington, Erv worked at Simplicity Manufacturing Co. for 34 years from 1953-1987. Ervin was a wonderful, caring husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His family was most important in his life and he helped them any way he could.

He loved having his grandchildren and great-grandchildren playing at the house or just sitting on his lap. Erv’s passion was gardening and he would spend hours in his “organic garden”. He enjoyed being outside putzing in his yard, he was a collector of many things and was proud of his ability to repair whatever needed fixing.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Elaine. He is survived by his children Mark (Cindy) Karrels of New Berlin, Margaret (Randy) Pieper of Casa Grande, AZ, Joan (Robert) Preisler of Grafton, Rose (Jeff) Ihde of Venice, FL, Ed (Debby) Karrels of Port Washington, Doris (Dennis) Dommer of Fredonia, Ruth (Bryan) Wichmann of Port Washington and Kathy (Jason) Sepanic of Frederick, MD. Further survived by 22 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, sisters Dorothy Ryan of Mundelein, IL and Shirley (Gerry) Gaynor of Minneapolis, MN, sister-in-law’s Gloria Karrels of Mokena, IL, Dolores Tock and Rosie Pozy, both of Kewaskum, Mildred (John) Lanser of Bakersfield, CA, Catherine Kearn of Waukesha, Ginny (Dick) Junge of Silver Creek and Sue (Tim) Newman of Circle Pines, MN, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his brothers Vernon, Gerald and Ronald Karrels and sisters Evelyn Karrels and Jean Jones.

Ervin was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish (St. John’s XXIII) and the Ozaukee Memorial Post 5373 VFW. The Reverend Don Zerkel will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial at 6 pm on Monday, July 17, 2017 at St. John XXIII Parish – St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 430 N. Johnson Street, Port Washington, WI. Interment at the Parish Cemetery. Visitation 3-6pm Monday with rosary at 3pm AT THE CHURCH.

Memorials may be made to St. John XXIII Catholic Parish or to the family for sharing with special local charities.

The family would like to thank the staff of Comfort Keepers organization and the Milwaukee VA Home Health Department for their compassion, friendship and skilled assistance, as well as Horizon Hospice for making Ervin’s final days comfortable and peaceful.

Poole Funeral Home/Crematory, Port Washington assisting the family. Information and condolences at or 262-284-4431.



  1. Joan, so sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. I remember helping in the garden. Some days we hated it, but looking back what some of us wouldn’t give to have those days back. Simpler times. My deepest condolences.

  2. Dear Kathy and the entire Karrels family,

    We are so sorry to learn of your loss. What an amazing life he led and we are particularly grateful of his military service. As children I do remember playing with Kathy at her home on Garfield Avenue and being very impressed with the size of your family’s vegetable garden. How wonderful that it brought him joy for so many years. May eternal be rest granted unto thee and may perpetual light shine upon him. Prayers and blessings, Glenda (Prom), Jeff, Josephine, Noah and Caleb Stanlick

  3. Deepest sympathies to the Karrels family. May your dearly departed father rest in peace.

  4. My sincere condolences to the Karrels Children and Families, for your Father Ervin ‘s passing, Thankyou for coming to my late sister Donna Mae Dickmann (cousin) funeral last Oct, 2016, Donna lost her battle with cancer, God bless them both, love and prayers to all Cousin Dale Al Dickmann from Tampa, Florida

  5. Sorry to about your loss.

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